A government watchdog group that battled the Obama administration says holdovers are still in place and fighting Freedom of Information lawsuits.
Judicial Watch recently filed yet another FOIA lawsuit, this time seeking a report on how Hillary Clinton's email practices damaged national security.
With a new administration under Donald Trump in the White House, one may believe that Judicial Watch would enjoy better cooperation.
"One might think so," says Chris Farrell, who oversees investigations for Judicial Watch, "but the fact remains that the rank and file, for the most part, are still Obama people or just by themselves are ideologically from the left."
The motto of the D.C.-based watchdog is "Because no one is above the law," and Fitton and other attorneys doggedly pursued Clinton over her emails and her private server.
The former secretary of state eventually answered submitted questions submitted by Judicial Watch.
When attorneys for Judicial Watch enter in a courtroom, he says, "it's the same attorneys with the same legal arguments and the same tactics as the Obama administration."
Judicial Watch has also filed suit after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration failed to respond to a Feb. 6 FOI request seeking emails from January 2009 to January 2017.
The attorneys in particular are interested in communications with NOAA scientist Thomas Karl and John Holdren, the controversial former director of the Office of Science and Technology, says Chris Fedeli, a senior attorney at Judicial Watch.
"The reason why we asked for those records in particular is because it's been reported that the two of them were pretty close," says Fedeli. "John Holdren's position at the OSTP, which is in the White House, gave Thomas Karl a lot of influence over White House global warming policy."
Karl, who until last year was the director of the NOAA section that produces climate data, was the lead author of a landmark paper that was reported to have heavily influenced the Paris agreement for the U.S. and other nations to curb carbon emissions. The concern is that man's burning of fossil fuels is contributing to what people have referred to as "climate change" or "global warming." Holdren, a former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is a long-time proponent of strong measures to curb emissions.
The executive branch, Farrell says, can exercise discretion yet release information being requested, and Farrell hopes the new administration will do just that.
"Whether it's Attorney General Sessions or Secretary Tillerson, or the President himself," he says, "with a stroke of the pen he could say go ahead release them all. And it would be just that simple."
3/28/2017 - Information about the OSTP added.