The National Archives and Records Administration’s recent announcement that there will be no Barack Obama Presidential Library was met with understandable outrage from historians and transparency advocates, who saw it as a blow to a functioning democracy. However, as the National Security Archive’s Nate Jones was quick to point out, this discussion needs to be understood in the larger context of NARA’s current failings in the presidential library system, where FOIA requests can take years, even decades.
A declassified 1964 memo to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency reveals that the Moscow has been attempting to influence the U.S. Presidential elections since 1964, a full fifty-two years before the election of Donald Trump.
Richard Nixon’s unsuccessful 1937 application to be a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a fairly well-known bit of presidential trivia. But as the Bureau’s own records show, answering the obvious corollary - why wasn’t Nixon FBI material - isn’t so easy.
Now that Donald Trump is President Elect of the United States, a whole new world of FOIA possibilities begins to open up. Here’s your guide on what you can request from the upcoming administration.