Watchdog group sues Biden admin for docs related to menthol cigarette crackdown

Watchdog group sues Biden admin for docs related to menthol cigarette crackdown

  • April 17, 2024

Thomas Catenacci, Fox News

FIRST ON FOX: A government watchdog group is suing the Biden administration over documents it has sought via information request related to proposed regulations targeting menthol cigarettes.

Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), alleging that the agency has violated its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Protect the Public’s Trust submitted four FOIA requests for documents pertaining to the proposed federal menthol cigarette ban with HHS and subagency the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late last year, all of which have gone unfulfilled.

PPT describes itself as nonpartisan, a “project dedicated to ensuring there is only one standard – one set of rules that our leaders must live by no matter what party affiliation or ideological bent,” according to its website. It’s headed by Michael Chamberlain, a former communications official at the Department of Education in the Trump administration.

“The Biden administration and FDA probably thought they would be greeted as conquering heroes when they announced the menthol ban,” Chamberlain said in a statement. “But the science and, as they soon found out, the politics appear to be a lot more complicated than that.”

“The rule is highly controversial, and it’s important for the American public to understand the factors driving the administration’s actions here,” he added. “But, despite our best efforts and Mr. Biden’s claim of running the most transparent administration in history, the agencies won’t produce records. That seems to indicate there’s something they don’t want the public to know.”

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