Rex Tillerson State

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of State of the United States of America.
Tracking # F-2016-17806
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Records from 2015 and 2016 relating to or mentioning Rex Tillerson, including communications received from or sent to Tillerson, as well as emails mentioning Mr. Tillerson.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Michael Best

From: Robinson, Kellie N

Mr. Best:

FOIA requests must be submitted to the correct component of the agency and not to an individual. If you are seeking records from the Department of State (DOS), you may submit a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request electronically at: https://foia.state.gov/Request/Submit.aspx. Please be sure to submit future requests using the web site.

I will forward your email below to the appropriate office. You will receive an acknowledgement letter that will include a control number and contact information.

Sincerely,

Kellie N. Robinson
U.S. Department of State
FOIA Program Manager/FOIA Public Liaison
Programs and Policies Division
Office of Information Programs and Services
Office: (202) 663-2222
Blackberry: (202) 351-1353
robinsonkn@state.gov<mailto:robinsonkn@state.gov>

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Records from 2015 and 2016 relating to or mentioning Rex Tillerson, including communications received from or sent to Tillerson, as well as emails mentioning Mr. Tillerson.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Michael Best

From: FOIA Status

Dear Mr. Best,

This is in reference to your e-mails dated December 16, 2016 and December 28, 2016 regarding your FOIA request. The case number is: F-2016-17806. Please refer to this case number when inquiring about the status of your request. Currently we are determining if we have sufficient information to process your search and ensure we are able to protect personal identifiable information. You will be receiving a formal acknowledgement letter shortly. A timeframe cannot be provided until the assigned team has had an opportunity to fully review the request.

For your information, FOIA requests must be submitted to the correct component t of the agency and not to an individual in the Department of State. Please note the procedures for submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request:

You may either submit a Freedom of Information request electronically at the Department of State's FOIA website at: www.foia.state.gov<http://www.foia.state.gov>, fax the request to the Requester Communication Branch at: 202 261-8579, or mail the request to: U.S. Department of State, Office of Information Programs and Services, (A/GIS/IPS/RL/RC), 515 22nd Street, N.W., Suite 8100, Washington, D.C. 20522.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8579 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>.

Sincerely,
U.S. Department of State
FOIA Requester Service Center
(202) 261-8484
foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

Official - Transitory
UNCLASSIFIED

From: Department of State

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Department of State

A fix is required to perfect the request.

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