The Republican National Committee would have to wait 75 years for the State Department to release emails from top aides to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a recent court filing.
State Department lawyers argue in a filing made last Wednesday that gathering 450,000 pages of records requested for former Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Jacob Sullivan and top State Department official Patrick Kennedy would take three quarters of a century.
“Given the Department’s current FOIA workload and the complexity of these documents, it can process about 500 pages a month, meaning it would take approximately 16-and-2/3 years to complete the review of the Mills documents, 33-and-1/3 years to finish the review of the Sullivan documents, and 25 years to wrap up the review of the Kennedy documents – or 75 years in total,” the State Department argued in the filing.
State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau declined Monday to comment on the RNC lawsuit specifically, but said that requests have tripled since 2008 and staff has been spread thin.
“The volume of FOIA requests received by the Department has tripled since 2008. In fiscal year 2015 alone we received approximately 22,000 FOIA requests,” Trudeau said. “The requests are also frequently more complex and seek larger volumes of documents, requiring significantly more time, resources, and interagency coordination. While we have increased staffing for our FOIA office, our available resources are still nonetheless constrained.”
The RNC filed suit against the State Department in March, saying it was stalling releasing records in response to a December FOIA request.