Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., blasted the State Department on Thursday for moving quickly to provide a requested email from Hillary Clinton's server to Democrats on the House Oversight Committee while stonewalling requests from Republicans and the public.
During a hearing about the agency's handling of Freedom of Information Act requests, Meadows questioned why the State Department handed over an email chain between Colin Powell and Clinton just five days after Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee's top Democrat, and seven other minority members asked for it while ignoring a FOIA request for that same email since 2014.
"We try to the best of our ability to respond to committees of Congress," said Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary for management at the State Department, in defense of his agency's treatment of records requests.
"It is with unbelievable speed when it fits the narrative that you want to do," Meadows argued.
The email in question showed Powell had advised Clinton on ways to skirt security rules when using a personal device for official communications as he said he did during his tenure.
Meadows said the State Department has engaged in "a slow walk when [a request] comes from the chairman," citing numerous letters from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the Oversight Committee, that have collected dust at the agency.
Kennedy argued it would be "physically impossible" for the State Department to produce all of Hillary Clinton's emails before the election given the high volume of FOIA requests pending before the agency.
But many of the media outlets and watchdog groups fighting for records began pursuing those documents years before Clinton launched her presidential bid.
The Associated Press, for example, first asked for Clinton's official schedules in 2010. Meadows and Chaffetz demanded to know why the agency has said it will struggle to provide thousands of pages of her schedules by November despite having six years to process that request.