The State Department's assertion that it will take 75 years to release emails in response to a Freedom of Information Act request makes a mockery of the law and spits in the face of transparency. Interagency reviews and classifications shouldn't supersede the right of Americans to know what government officials are up to. If the reviews can't be completed in the timely manner, then they should give way to transparency requirements.
The RNC has sued the State Department under FOIA, seeking all emails to or from four aides to former Secretary Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2013.
The State Department has claimed that the result would yield roughly 1.5 million pages of documents that it and other federal agencies would need to go through page by page.
The department claimed in a court filing last week trying to kill the lawsuit that the emails are "complex" and include "classified documents and interagency communications that could have to be referred to other agencies for their review."
After discussion with the government, the RNC offered to impose some limits on the subject matter and dates of the emails of three aides, to pare the list of emails down to roughly 450,000 pages.
Because the State Department expected that it could process roughly 500 pages per month, processing all 450,000 pages would take 900 months, or 75 years.