CEI v. United States Department of State

On April 2015, CEI filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department as part of its inquiry into the development of a successor regime to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. For example, CEI hopes to obtain records shedding light on the Global Climate Fund (GCF) that then-Secretary Hillary Clinton proposed as a means to rescue the December 2009 Copenhagen “climate talks” from collapse. The GCF is central to the December Paris climate talks when the administration is expected to agree to a successor to the failed Kyoto treaty. 

As such, CEI also seeks records shedding light on the revolutionary decision to proceed in replacing a treaty with an even more stringent agreement — one which now contains a “Climate Justice Tribunal” and which by its own terms will renew and tighten every five years, unlike Kyoto which had one five-year compliance period.

CEI sought to confirm whether all such records would be on Mrs. Clinton’s private email server. After receiving no cooperation from the State Department on its key threshold request, CEI was forced to sue. CEI’s first step was to seek documents relating to the email and record keeping and security practices of Secretary Clinton and her inner circle, including if they submitted the required attestation whether they possessed any work-related emails on non-official accounts or thumb drives.

This suit led to the production of a document that reveals that then-Secretary Clinton signed an NDA that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information. This disclosure goes beyond the “climate” issue and is of far broader interest.