John Kerry reports only to Biden; Blinken frozen out
- May 9, 2023
Joe Dwinell, Boston Herald
As John Kerry comes under intense scrutiny for rekindling climate talks with the Chinese, the U.S. State Department made it clear he reports to nobody but President Biden.
“Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry reports directly to the President,” a State Department spokesperson told the Herald Monday.
The one-line response came as new emails show Kerry — the nation’s first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate — has a “proposed staff” of 45 positions. That’s the same-sized office set up to combat ISIS, his staffers pointed out.
That’s a problem, says Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust. His watchdog organization is suing Kerry’s office to unlock the super-secret workings of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
“For an individual with the level of authority that John Kerry possesses to operate not only outside the Senate confirmation process but also not report to the head of the agency he ostensibly works for seems, at the very least, tremendously unusual, at worst, in violation of the Senate’s advice and consent authority,” Chamberlain said Monday night.
“It’s little wonder that staff in the (Climate) office are so secretive and even their responses to Congressional oversight are cryptic and dismissive,” Chamberlain added. “The more that Protect the Public’s Trust, Congressional representatives, and media discover about this secretive office, the more questions and concerns become apparent.”
Chamberlain also pointed out that Kerry’s Climate gig is up in May of 2024, so any reports that may follow will be moot.
The latest batch of emails shared with the Herald from Protect the Public’s Trust state Kerry’s office staff is “similar in size to the Office of Special Presidential Envoy to Combat ISIS during the Obama administration.”
Brett McGurk was announced as the ISIS special envoy by then-Secretary of State John Kerry in October of 2015. “He probably did have to report to Kerry in that role,” Chamberlain said.