Updated FOIA requests, lawsuit for Seth Rich records, and quiet departure of FBI’s FOIA chief

I haven’t blogged much lately, in part due to a medical problem (not COVID, thankfully) that slowed me down considerably, but here’s a brief update:

  • On Monday, I filed an updated Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for records about Seth Rich, the Awan family, and government surveillance of journalists.
  • Re: Seth Rich, keep an eye on the National Security Division of the Justice Department. As you can see from the federal complaint, the NSD ignored a FOIA request that I filed back in 2018 for records about Seth Rich. And look at Paragraph 16, plus Exhibit 8. I think NSD is playing a bigger role in the “Russian hacking” narrative than most of us understood. By sending Seth Rich records there, it’s easier to keep things classified. So why would a “street robbery” investigation need to be classified?
  • In the Huddleston FOIA case, the government’s response is due on August 10, 2020. Mark your calendar. By that date, the FBI will have to explain what it has done to locate and produce records about Seth Rich. And this time around, the FBI doesn’t have the luxury of denying that the records exist.
  • Inspired by Sundance’s July 17, 2020 post at TheConservativeTreehouse.com, this afternoon I filed a FOIA request for information about the undisclosed government contractors who were allowed to search the NSA database during the Obama regime. As explained by Sundance, it appears that the regime was indeed engaged in political surveillance, as some of the illegally-retrieved information ended up in the hands of Christopher Steele.
  • I also filed a more detailed FOIA request for information about government spying on journalists like Sharyl Attkisson and James Rosen during the Obama regime. As Ms. Attkisson has often noted, most journalists and journalism execs seem to shrug this off. Would they be so indifferent if Trump was doing the spying rather than Dear Leader Obama?

One more thing: A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the FBI’s FOIA letters were no longer signed by Section Chief David M. Hardy, but by Acting Section Chief Michael G. Seidel. What happened to Mr. Hardy? You may recall that Mr. Hardy filed a sworn declaration in 2018 claiming that the FBI searched its files and located no records about Seth Rich.

In September of 2019, however, Judicial Watch obtained an email string about Seth Rich in response to a FOIA request for communications between FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and in March of 2020 former U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines testified that the FBI had investigated Seth Rich’s laptop and his online accounts. In other words, Mr. Hardy’s testimony was false.

I repeatedly asked U.S. Attorney John Durham and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate whether Mr. Hardy lied under oath, and in an April 22, 2020 letter Mr. Horowitz wrote that he referred my complaint to the FBI’s Inspection Division. Was Mr. Hardy forced out? I don’t know, but if you have any inside information, please send it my way.

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