The bigger question is why anyone in the Trump Administration would want to keep this fiasco covered up. Is Mr. Ratcliffe trying to drain the swamp, or is he just another Republicrat trying to protect the swamp? If the latter, then President Trump should throw him overboard.
In my July 22, 2020 FOIA letter, I noted Ms. Attkisson’s lawsuit, then requested the following:
- For each instance of surveillance described in Ms. Attkisson’s complaint, I wish to view all documents, records, communications, and other tangible evidence (e.g., audio, video, or metadata) identifying or revealing (1) the government contractor(s), employee(s), or representative(s) who authorized, conducted, and/or assisted the surveillance; and (2) the factual and/or legal rationale, if any, for conducting such surveillance. If, for example, the government sent a contractor or employee to Ms. Attkisson’s home disguised as a Verizon employee, then documents reflecting that person’s identity should be revealed. As used in this letter, “surveillance” includes, but is not limited to, efforts to wiretap or hack into the electronic devices or accounts of the targeted person or persons. This request further includes, but is not limited to, documents, records, or communications identifying (1) the government affiliates, agents, employees or contractors involved in such activities, and (2) the targets of any such activities.
- For the period from January 20, 2009 until the present, I wish to view all documents, records, communications, and other tangible evidence (e.g., audio, video, or metadata) revealing or describing surveillance of any and all journalists, journalism/media companies, and/or executives at journalism/media companies in the United States by any and all government employees, agents, affiliates, or contractors. [In a footnote, I noted that we are not seeking information about surveillance of foreign journalists in the U.S.]. For each such instance of surveillance, I wish to view all documents, records, communications, and/or other tangible identifying or revealing (1) the government contractor(s), employee(s), or representative(s) who authorized, conducted, and/or assisted the surveillance; and (2) the factual and/or legal rationale, if any, for conducting the surveillance.
- If any instances of surveillance described by the foregoing paragraphs were permitted by court order, I request the opportunity to view all such orders as well as any and all applications, affidavits, or motions seeking each respective order. [Continued on p. 2].
ODNI says all of the requested information would be classified, therefore it cannot admit or deny its existence. I have already filed several FOIA lawsuits on behalf of The Transparency Project against the FBI, DOJ, CIA, etc., and it looks like I’ll soon be filing another one.
The Demise of David M. Hardy
In my last blog post, I wrote about the welcome departure of FBI Section Chief David M. Hardy, who oversaw the FBI’s responses (or non-responses) to FOIA requests, and I wondered if he had been forced out. Thanks to Citizen Wells, we may have some clues. According to a July 10, 2020 report from DOJ’s Office of Inspector General, an FBI unit chief retired while he was under investigation for an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. According to a July 29, 2020 report, an FBI unit chief approved an authorization request for outside employment despite knowing that it contained misleading information, but the unit chief retired during the OIG’s investigation. The unit chiefs are not named, and it is unclear whether the two reports are discussing the same person.