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

First on Fox: The government watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit seeking information and documents from the office of special presidential climate envoy John Kerry that are 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 violated the Freedom of Information Act by giving the group access to the internal operations of Kerry’s office. Prevented from getting basic information about A 1967 law 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 what we’re actually doing to him,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. Who are you paying to work for?” Fox News Digital.

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

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The Office of the Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, John Kerry, is located in the State Department and has an estimated annual budget of $13.9 million with 45 staff approvals (Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Office of the Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, John Kerry, is located in the State Department and has an estimated annual budget of $13.9 million with 45 staff approvals (Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)
(Getty)

While the State Department acknowledged that it had received the request, it failed to determine whether to comply with it, make a decision with Judicial Watch or produce the requested documents. Judicial Watch said it had “exhausted its administrative appeal remedy” after the agency failed to meet its Sept. 13 deadline, forcing legal action.

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The group asked the court to order the State Department to comply with the records request and share any documents produced by the search.

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Shortly after President Biden took office in January 2021, Kerry was appointed the first-ever Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change (SPEC), a Cabinet-level position tasked with engaging in climate negotiations with foreign countries. Kerry’s office is located in the State Department. And it has an estimated annual budget of $13.9 million approved by 45 personnel.

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

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“It’s not surprising — it’s basically the same old gang,” Myron Abel, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, told Fox News Digital at the time. “These are people who have been working on these problems for decades and failing.”

“This gang is the climate elite, you could call them,” Abel said.

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

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

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