Judicial Watch sues Biden admin over John Kerry’s travel costs, calendar, staffer info

First on FOX: The government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit to obtain information and documents from the office of John Kerry, the president’s special envoy on climate matters, that has remained hidden from public view.

Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that the State Department denied the group access to basic information about the internal operations of Kerry’s office in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. The 1967 Act requires the federal government to disclose information and documents upon request.

“The American people have a right to know what John Kerry is doing, what we’re paying to fly him around the world, and to Who are we paying to actually work for him? Fox News Digital.

Judicial Watch sent a request for information to the State Department in late July, according to court filings. The group requested copies of Carey’s travel expense records, a complete catalog of Carey’s calendar entries and copies of all organizational charts for Carey’s office to identify the staff employed in the office.

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The Office of the President's Special Envoy on Climate Matters, John Kerry, is based in the State Department and has an annual budget of $13.9 million with an approved staff of 45. (Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Office of the President’s Special Envoy on Climate Matters, John Kerry, is based in the State Department and has an annual budget of $13.9 million with an approved staff of 45. (Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)
(Getty)

While the State Department acknowledged that it had received the request, it failed to specify whether it should comply with it, send any decision with Judicial Watch or provide the requested documents. Judicial Watch said the agency had “exhausted its plans for administrative appeals” after it missed its Sept. 13 deadline and was forced to take legal action.

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The group asked the court to order the State Department to subpoena the records and share any documents produced by the inspectorate.

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President Biden appointed Kerry as the first Special Presidential Envoy on Climate (SPEC), a Cabinet-level position tasked with engaging in climate negotiations with foreign countries, shortly after taking office in January 2021. Kerry’s office is based in the State Department. and has an annual budget of $13.9 million with an approved staff of 45.

But since Kerry’s appointment, which did not require Senate confirmation and gave him a seat on the National Security Council, his office has been tight-lipped about the council’s staffing and operations. A Fox News digital survey of online job portals in August identified several current SPEC employees, all of whom previously worked at left-leaning think tanks and organizations.

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Myron Ebel, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and the Environment, told Fox News Digital at the time: “It’s no surprise — it’s basically the same old gang. These are the people who have been working on these issues for decades and are failing.”

“This gang is the weather aristocracy, you might call them,” said Ebel.

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Kerry’s office has released announcements when Kerry has traveled abroad, but has provided few details about his schedule. However, it has not released Kerry’s full calendar, as other agencies have done for their leadership.

Kerry’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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