On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Janice Jacobs, a former U.S. ambassador to Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, as the nation’s newly-created “transparency coordinator -- also dubbed the "email czar" -- who will be responsible for improving document preservation and transparency systems in the U.S. catalog.
The State Department has complained that they do not have the manpower to keep up with the numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests sent by media sources to uncover Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. Now, Jacobs will be tasked with speeding up the efficiency of finding the e-mails and releasing them to the public, the Free Beacon reported.
However, Jacobs is receiving pushback from critics after it was discovered that she donated $2,700 to Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Addressing the controversy, State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Jacobs will not be involved in making any formal decisions regarding Clinton’s e-mail search. Rather, Jacobs will be expected to "improve document transparency," Fox News noted. Kirby added that Jacobs' appointment is a "testament to to a commitment to transparency."
According to a senior official quoted by CNN, Kerry was “born out of frustration” that the State Department was being criticized for working too slowly in recovering information for the FOIA requests. Some of the requests dated back to 2011, when the Associated Press asked for Clinton’s itineraries and documents during her time as Secretary of State.
“We have a fundamental obligation to document the conduct of U.S. foreign policy and to produce our records in response to requests from the public and Congress,” Kerry said on Sept. 8, announcing the appointment of Jacobs. “Our records and our ability to share them serve as testament to our commitment to transparency and open government.”
Republicans did not hold back in their criticism of Kerry’s choice. Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who has led the charge in Congress in finding out what Clinton did or did not know about the 2012 Benghazi terror attack, released a statement through his spokesman.
“Adding another person to State’s bureaucracy to address the problems caused by former Secretary Clinton’s unusual and unprecedented e-mail arrangement will mean little if State does not address the obstacles that currently exist with its compliance,” spokesman Jamal Ware said. “The proof will be in timely production, not late promises.”
In addition to serving as ambassador, Jacobs was praised for revamping the U.S. visa system following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Fox News noted.
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