Australian Government "will neither confirm nor deny" the existence of documents linking Downer to the Trump/Russia allegations
On 22 February I made this request of DFAT under the provisions of what was once a Freedom of Information Act.
I seek all cables, emails, telephone records and other communications regarding President Trump and allegations that Russian interests interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, including any communications from, about, to or involving Alexander Downer.
And now we know.
The Australian Government will neither confirm nor deny the existence of any document relating to Downer and his trumped up Trump/Russia pro-Hillary allegations.
And the provision of the FOI Act 1982 under which Mr I'm From The Government I'm Here To Help can choose to neither confirm nor deny? This one.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982 - SECT 25 Information as to existence of certain documents
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982 - SECT 25
(1) Nothing in this Act shall be taken to require an agency or Minister to give information as to the existence or non-existence of a document where information as to the existence or non-existence of that document, if included in a document of an agency, would cause the last-mentioned document to be:
(2) If a request relates to a document that is, or if it existed would be, of a kind referred to in subsection (1), the agency or Minister dealing with the request may give notice in writing to the applicant that the agency or the Minister (as the case may be) neither confirms nor denies the existence, as a document of the agency or an official document of the Minister, of such a document but that, assuming the existence of such a document, it would be:
(3) If a notice is given under subsection (2) of this section:
(a) section 26 applies as if the decision to give the notice were a decision referred to in that section; and
(b) the decision is taken, for the purposes of Part VI, to be a decision refusing to grant access to the document in accordance with the request referred to in subsection (2) of this section, for the reason that the document would, if it existed, be: