Chair Grijalva: Newly Reported Political Interference in Interior Department Responses to Freedom of Information Act “Dangerous, Calls for Oversight”

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today released the following statement on this morning’s report in Roll Call that senior political officials at the Department of the Interior are reviewing responses to Freedom of Information Act requests and in some cases directing staff not to include certain material.

“The Interior Department under President Trump has treated information as a political weapon, regardless of what our laws require or what democracy demands of its leaders. Controlling public awareness of what Secretary Bernhardt and his allies are doing, especially by blocking the legally required release of documents, goes beyond ‘troubling’ – it is dangerous, and it calls for oversight. Secretary Bernhardt shouldn’t allow for this kind of manipulation, and DOI’s top lawyer shouldn’t sign off on it. The question now is what they’re afraid the public will find out.”

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