Surprise, surprise. The FBI is dragging its feet.
Yesterday the government asked for more time to respond to U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant’s September 29, 2022 order directing the FBI to produce all records related to Seth Rich’s laptop. Somewhat relatedly, the FBI is withholding three reports produced by CrowdStrike in August of 2016 regarding the purported hack of the Democratic National Committee.
First the laptop. The FBI wants two more weeks so it can prepare a motion for reconsideration. As a courtesy, we have not objected to the request. According to the government’s motion, “the FBI is uncertain how to comply with the Court’s order as written, and the FBI is seeking input from a pending appellate consultation regarding the order to properly address this issue.”
The order itself is pretty straightforward, at least with respect to Seth’s personal laptop, because it directs the FBI to “produce the information it possesses related to Seth Rich’s laptop and responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA requests within 14 days of this Order.” On the other hand, the order does not discuss Seth’s work laptop, which is also in the possession of the FBI.
I’m waiting for the FBI to explain what it thinks needs to be clarified, then I may be filing my own motion for clarification. Meanwhile, the FBI has cited only one narrow basis for withholding the records related to Seth’s laptop, namely his privacy. I’m not sure why it takes four weeks and an appellate lawyer to figure out why the judge did or didn’t get that issue right.
In any event, I’m reminded of something that I learned almost thirty years ago when I was a newspaper reporter: people with nothing to hide don’t try to hide nothing. [Continued on page 2].