Top Clinton WH FOIA Expert: Hillary Email Explanation ‘Laughable’

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The senior most freedom-of-information official in Bill Clinton’s White House said Hillary Clinton’s explanation for deleting nearly 30,000 emails she alone determined were “personal” is “laughable.”

Daniel Metcalfe told the Canadian Press that “there is no doubt that the scheme she established was a blatant circumvention of the Freedom of Information Act, atop the Federal Records Act.”

“Her suggestion that government employees can unilaterally determine which of their records are personal and which are official, even in the face of a FOIA request, is laughable,” he said. “You can’t have the secretary of state do that; that’s just a prescription for the circumvention of the FOIA. Plus, fundamentally, there’s no way the people at the archives should permit that if you tell them over there.”‘

According to the Canadian Press, Metcalfe was the “senior-most freedom-of-information official in the executive branch of the United States government for over a quarter-century” and his job “was to help four administrations — including the Clinton White House — interpret the Freedom of Information Act, offer advice, and testify before Congress on their behalf.” He also was “the founding director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy, which advised the rest of the administration on how to comply with the law”–he “ran the office from 1981 to 2007.”

Metcalfe is hardly an anti-Clinton partisan. In fact, “he’s a registered Democrat,” and, according to the Press, “says he was embarrassed to work for George W. Bush and his attorney general, and left government” to teach at American University. He added that if someone had tried to do what Clinton did while he was advising administrations, he would have said, “You’ve gotta be kidding me.”