Obama admin. spent $36mn on legal costs to keep files secret: Report

The administration of former president Barack Obama spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs in its final year in office trying to keep government files secret, despite a pledge to be the most transparent government in history, according to a new report.

New US government data analyzed by the Associated Press showed that the Obama administration faced over 788,000 requests for classified documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

However, in 77 percent of the cases, the organizations and individuals that filed lawsuits ended up with only censored files or nothing at all in 2016. That figure stood at 65 percent in the first year of Obama’s presidency.

Federal employees also set a record in the number of times they told citizens, journalists and others that they could not find a single page of the requested documents.

Of the $36.2 million spent on legal battles last year, the Justice Department accounted for $12 million, followed by…

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