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State Dept Claims Staffer’s Emails Don’t Exist, Later Finds 17,000

1024px-Department_of_state.svgTwo years after claiming they couldn’t find certain emails from a former staffer, the State Department suddenly announced in court that they had found more than 17,000 of them.

The backstory is that back in 2013, Gawker filed a FOIA request for any emails sent from deputy assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines to employees of 34 media outlets. Reines had something of a reputation of sending extremely confrontational emails to reporters telling them to “f*ck off,” and Gawker no doubt wanted to mine his emails for more gems.

But to their surprise, the State Department responded that they couldn’t find a single email Reinnes had sent to any reporters from those organizations, even though emails to those outlets were already known to exist. In response, Gawker took the State Deparment to court.

Lo and behold, an August 13 filing by State Department lawyers announced that they had discovered “5.5 gigabytes of data containing 81,159 emails of varying length” written by Reinnes. Approximately 17,855 of those emails were considered to be responsive to the email request originally filed by Gawker.

“According to the same status report, the State Department intends to produce the first set of Reines’ emails on September 30, 2015,” reports Gawker’s J.K. Trotter, “three years and six days after Gawker filed its initial request.”

[Image via screengrab]
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