America Rising Demands State Dept Transparency Czar Resign for Donating to Hillary Clinton

John Kerry
John Kerry / AP
September 10, 2015

America Rising PAC is demanding that the former career diplomat tapped by Secretary of State John Kerry to serve as "transparency coordinator" at the government agency resign after revelations that she donated the maximum amount to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Kerry announced Tuesday that Janice Jacobs, who most recently worked as Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs before retiring last year, would serve as State’s transparency "czar" and help improve its document preservation and response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

The hire comes just as the State Department receives increased FOIA requests and inquiries from congressional lawmakers stemming from the controversy surrounding former secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system while working in the Obama administration.

Shortly after Kerry’s announcement, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Jacobs had donated $2,700--the maximum amount--to Clinton’s presidential campaign in June, according to Federal Election Commission records.

America Rising PAC executive director Colin Reed on Thursday called for Jacobs’ resignation, citing a clear "conflict of interest."

"It’s clear from her donations to Secretary Clinton that the new State Department czar has a conflict of interest in the ongoing email scandal and needs to step aside," Reed said in a statement. "Clinton’s private email server has led to potential breaches of our national security and the stifling of government transparency practices."

"The American people deserve leadership completely removed of partisan politics. The only way for this to happen is for Ambassador Jacobs to resign and be replaced by a truly neutral arbiter who can resolve the email issue as quickly and fairly as possible," Reed added.

Jacobs told the Wall Street Journal in an interview Tuesday that she has not only been hired because of the Clinton emails.

"I think that the announcement lays it out pretty clearly what Secretary Kerry has hired me for and it’s not just the Clinton emails, but in general to make sure that the department is as responsive and efficient as it can be in handling the various document requests that come in," Jacobs explained. "He just wants to make sure it’s all well-coordinated and that deadlines are met and that we just look proactive and responsive."

State Department spokesman John Kirby initially commented that Jacobs’ role had nothing to do with the contents of the Clinton emails, a statement that was later amended.

"She’s being given this job because of her career, her experience running large organizations and leading change efforts," Kirby said. "She will not be involved in the adjudication over the content of former Secretary Clinton’s emails. She’s going to be running process improvement and records preservation across the board, not just in relation to former Secretary Clinton’s emails."

In announcing the hire Tuesday, Kerry labeled Jacobs "exactly the right person for this job," citing her career as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services when she helped fix visa issuance policies and streamline how the State Department shared information with law enforcement and intelligence agencies after the 9/11 terror attacks.