NYT sues State Dept. for FOIA requests about Hunter Biden

The New York Times filed a lawsuit against the US State Department on Monday in an effort to obtain emails between Hunter Biden and officials with the Romanian embassy, ​​blaming the department for failing to hand over the documents it had requested via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA ) in a timely manner, according to reports.

The paper is seeking to obtain emails the Romanian embassy sent between 2015 and 2019 to a number of people, specifically naming President Joe Biden’s son as well as his former business associate Tony Bobulinski, Politico reported.

The FOIA requests, first sent last June, also seek information on former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

When the Times asked the State Department for an ETA for the documents in December, they were told April 15, 2023.

The Times appears to be investigating whether foreign embassy officials did any personal favors for connected business people.

  World Food Program USA Board Chairman Hunter Biden speaks at the World Food Program USA's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony.
The Times appears to be investigating whether foreign embassy officials did any personal favors for connected business people, and specifically mentioned President Biden’s son Hunter.
Getty Images for World Food Program USA

In the Times’ records request, obtained by Politico, the paper is seeking information concerning “(1) the possible improper use of federal government resources to assist and advance private business interests with connections to United States government officials and (2) the possible evasion of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by those private business interests, and (3) the non-enforcement of FARA by the federal government in relation to those private business interests.”

Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings became the center of controversy in the days leading up to the 2020 election when he was investigated by Republican officials for selling his influence to Ukraine.

“We’re hopeful the government will promptly release any relevant documents, and as always we are prepared to pursue our request through a lawsuit if necessary,” a spokesperson for the paper told Politico. “Just as we do on any line of reporting, we will assess the newsworthiness of the material once we receive it.”

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