Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #FOIA

Most recents (24)

In 2017, Rod Rosenstein issued a statement decrying leaks & saying people should be skeptical of stories attributed to anonymous officials

WELL, I just obtained a bunch of emails from DOJ via #FOIA that shows Rosenstein sometimes offered to be one of those anonymous officials
I'm not going to blow up the reporter who was just doing their job so I redacted their name
Remember the 2017 stories saying Rod Rosenstein offered to resign? Rosenstein told a reporter via his govt email, off the record, that he never offered to resign.

But he offered to sit down and discuss it "if/when it blows over"

Via my #FOIA
Read 4 tweets
Yet the FBI claims its investigation report on Kavanaugh is 500+ pages and the bureau is withholding all of it.

My/@buzzfeednews #FOIA lawsuit for the FULL 527-page (that's news) FBI background investigation report is ongoing. We are challenging the FBI's justification for withholding the report in its entirety

Unfortunately, litigation phase will take months. Here's the upcoming schedule
Read 3 tweets
NEW in response to my #FOIA to DHS

2018 email from USCIS official:

"I have protestors in front of my house chanting my name, announcing my bio talking about Trump saying animals and have posters with my name"

Response: "see what we can find out about who these protesters were"
Correction: Email from USCIS official says "I currently have demonstrators in front of my house..."
These emails showed up in response to my/@BuzzFeedNews #FOIA lawsuit for Kirstjen Nielsen's emails. It's just these two that relates to the protests in front of the USCIS official's house.
Read 3 tweets
/1 Thread on #Natsec #Whistleblower victory

Incredibly pleased to report on significant development in one of our cases involving @AndrewBakaj which shows system CAN work even against @CIA. Congress should use this example to further strengthen system.…
@AndrewBakaj @CIA /2 Bakaj, an attny, was former @DoD_IG & @CIA OIG. He wrote CIA's internal regs to implement PPD-19, which was 2012 presidential directive by @POTUS44 to protect #natsec #whistleblowers…
@AndrewBakaj @CIA @DoD_IG @POTUS44 /3 He properly participated in @ODNIgov OIG investigation, which was required by LAW, & #CIA OIG retaliated against him. Much of the battle arose from still ongoing tensions btwn who has higher authority: ODNI or CIA. NOTE: I say ODNI but that's another discussion.
Read 13 tweets
A #FOIA story:

1. I sent FBI a FOIA request for specific FBI file numbers.
2. FBI refers it to @USAttorneys, calls it a court case, and closes it.
3. EOUSA denies the request for being unreasonably describe.
4. DOJ upholds appeal, noting the FBI file numbers aren't court case #s
Long time followers won't be surprised (@resentfultweet can already feel it in his bones, I'm sure) to learn that the file number came from an originally SECRET (and still partially classified) memo to the FBI Director about


The #PROMIS/Inslaw affair.
The case where:

* FBI lied to Congress about a journalist who died while investigating DOJ corruption

* FBI agents were afraid being honest would put their careers at risk

* Police manufactured evidence

* FBI withheld evidence

* DOJ can't decide if they lost the file or not
Read 17 tweets
Ever wonder why agencies in charge of deployed US nuclear weapons have social media accounts?

Who runs them, why, under what policy guidance?

What thought goes into strategic signaling and avoiding unintended or accidental escalation?




...I have had released to me via Freedom of Information Act...

....Social Media policy guidance for USSTRATCOM (
and AFGSC!

So you can assess WHY they have social media & their use of it.



Also through the #FOIA...

I had released to me Air Force Global Strike Command’s social media policies and social media policy guide:

I have additional follow up requests to make, obviously.
Read 6 tweets
The city of Boston is illegally stonewalling my request for documents related to #OperationCleanSweep. A quick thread: #mapoli #FOIA
Normally a records custodian must provide public records within 15 business days. If they can't, they can take up to 25 business days, but **still must provide a written explanation within 10**. #mapoli #FOIA
The written response, among other things, must clearly explain the reason for the delay. #mapoli #FOIA
Read 8 tweets
New court filing by DOJ in my/@BuzzFeedNews lawsuit for all documents from Mueller's office that was used for the drafting of his final report.

DOJ doubling down, stating, the number of responsive records likely surpasses 18 BILLION PAGES.
@BuzzFeedNews DOJ is treating this #FOIA request as any other. It isn't. DOJ fails to recognize and understand the historic nature and value of the docs at issue and the agency's own statements during the course of the probe that lead me to file what they refer to as an overly broad request.
@BuzzFeedNews DOJ's Justice Management Division now has control of records from the Special Counsel's Office (Mueller). It "falls falls into three broad categories: (1) non-email digital
data, (2) email, and (3) paper files"

From DOJ atty's latest declaration in my @BuzzFeedNews #FOIA case
Read 6 tweets
NEW #FOIA THREAD: Latest production in my 8 year-long #FOIA battle w/FBI. Bureau turns over 687 heavily redacted pgz on Samir Khan, US citizen/editor of AQ mag killed in 2011 drone strike

1st FBI docs acknowledging he was droned: "Subject has been disrupted by OGA drone"

These FBI docs also reveal that the bureau officially closed the Samir Khan case on February 1, 2012.

Here's the link to the docs (And a Robert Mueller appearance. He was FBI director at the time).

Although heavily redacted, these are another set of fascinating documents about the most controversial and highly secretive Obama-era counterterrorism strike: the targeted killing of a US citizen abroad. Makes clear FBI was providing CIA with intel (not very controversial).

Read 10 tweets
Saturday #FOIA thread

Four years ago, I filed a request with Secret Service for emails, threat assessments, reports, other docs about the Pope's visit to the US.

Secret Service JUST responded and turned over 200 pages. Quite the read here.…

The threats to the Pope (as well as Obama, HRC, and other high profile figures) that Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies investigated popped up on social media platforms. That underscores something noteworthy in the current climate

Govt agencies have long had tools to investigate threats left on social media platforms. The question is do you want them to when it's not high profile figures. Bulk of threats in these docs were dismissed b/c they said individuals never seriously intended to follow through

Read 3 tweets
A #FOIAFriday thread.

This is the 4 year journey of one of my #FOIA requests.

On July 21, 2015, I filed a request with FBI for docs on Mushin al-Fadhli, who the US said was "the leader of a network of veteran al-Qaida operatives, sometimes called Khorasan Group"

Al-Fadhli was killed that day, according to DOD.

FBI responded to my request by stating al-Fadhli docs were located in an investigative file & exempt from disclosure

So I appealed, reminding FBI it has to conduct a search of all records and segregate non investigative docs

DOJ responded to my appeal a year later & remanded my request & said FBI would conduct another search

... Four years later, FBI responds and produced 3 pages of docs to me. Here's what it says.

FBI will now get credit for releasing docs when govt discloses its FOIA stats.

Read 4 tweets
Are you familiar with #SyntheticTelepathy and #VoiceToSkull (#V2K) technology?

#MindControl didn't stop with the horrific experiments & sexual abuse of #MKultra.
It went state-of-the-art.

#Zuckerberg commented a few years ago about #Facebook (C_A) using #SyntheticTelepathy, saying the tech was a ways off.

It isn't. It's been here.
The #Army began experimenting with #SyntheticTelepathy #VRK, the tech based on reading electrical activity in the brain using an EEG, publicly in 2011, but the #DoD & #CIA have long been using it on the unsuspecting.

Read 34 tweets
DAY 3 thread

Just now, DOJ issued another response in my #FOIA lawsuit for docs on the death of Mikhail Lesin, Putin's former media czar who authorities say died alone in his hotel room from a series of drunken falls

DOJ now withholds another 500 pgs. That makes 6K in 1 wk

DOJ only produced 8 pages of documents. Here they are.
DOJ is again citing grand jury secrecy a #FOIA exemption that could endanger the life of an individual to justify the vast majority of the withholdings

That's now more than 8K pgs govt has withheld related to Lesin's death, person who US says died from drunken falls

Read 5 tweets

DOJ continues to withhold 1000s of pages of docs about the death of Mikhail Lesin, Putin's former media czar who died in a DC hotel room from blunt force injuries in what the govt says were drunken falls

I & @BuzzFeedNews have a 2 yr old #FOIA lawsuit. Look at this
This is all that DOJ released to me this month in its rolling production of docs.

DOJ withheld material citing grand jury secrecy (a grand jury heard testimony even though govt maintains Lesin died of drunken falls). Moreover, they invoke rarely used b7f exemption to justify withholding.

B7f protects law enforcement information endanger an individual

Read 15 tweets
Read 45 tweets
Newly released FBI interview notes w/ former Deputy Associate AG #BruceOhr show info gathered against @realDonaldTrump by former #British #Spy Christopher Steele for @HillaryClinton was distributed to @BarackObama’s @FBI and @StateDept in 2016.

(Thread 👇)…
@realDonaldTrump @HillaryClinton @BarackObama @FBI @StateDept #BruceOhr told @FBI agents during a Nov. 2016, interview that “reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia were going to the [@HillaryClinton] campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI,” according to notes made public by @JudicialWatch.
@realDonaldTrump @HillaryClinton @BarackObama @FBI @StateDept @JudicialWatch .@JudicialWatch has repeatedly used the #FOIA to break major stories in the #RussiaInvestigation saga, and released 34 pages of @FBI 302s, the form agents use to document their interviews.…
Read 18 tweets
#NellieOhr, wife of @TheJusticeDept's Associate Deputy AG #BruceOhr, handed her husband the “Manafort Chronology,” a dossier of research on former Trump-campaign chairman #PaulManafort in Dec 2016, according to @FBI docs released Aug. 8.

(Thread 👇)…
@TheJusticeDept @FBI Nellie Ohr compiled the Manafort report as part of her work for #FusionGPS. The @HillaryClinton campaign and the @DNC paid Fusion GPS $1 million to conduct opposition research on then-candidate @realDonaldTrump.
@TheJusticeDept @FBI @HillaryClinton @DNC @realDonaldTrump The revelation about the Manafort report is part of a batch of @FBI docs memorializing the bureau’s interviews with #BruceOhr.

@JudicialWatch obtained the docs as part of a #FOIA lawsuit against the bureau.…
Read 11 tweets
#FOIA thread screed

FBI, the WORST agency when it comes to transparency, the agency that routinely violates #FOIA, has ONLY NOW, after NEARLY A YEAR OF LITIGATION, decided to tell me & @BuzzFeedNews that it is withholding the report on its "investigation" into Brett Kavanaugh
@BuzzFeedNews The FBI cites an exemption that is laughable to justify the withholding of its report on Brett Kavanaugh investigation: the presidential communication privilege. This leads me to believe there was interference related to the release of this report.

@BuzzFeedNews The bureau ignores that this report was sent to Congress, and that lawmakers lead calls to conduct this investigation.

We intend to litigate the shit out of this.

Read 5 tweets
From Politico re: my/@BuzzFeedNews/@EPICprivacy #FOIA lawsuit to unredact Mueller report

Judge signals interest in removing Mueller report redactions
‘That’s what open government is all about,’ Judge Reggie Walton said during court arguments
@BuzzFeedNews @EPICprivacy “It’s something that frankly ripped this country apart,” argued BuzzFeed News Matt Topic (@mvtopic), regarding the competing and often bitterly partisan claims surrounding the credibility of Mueller’s investigation. “The people deserve to know as much as they possibly can.”
@BuzzFeedNews @EPICprivacy @mvtopic While Walton has the power to issue an opinion that goes directly to the BuzzFeed and EPIC FOIA lawsuit, he’s also weighing another incremental step the two organizations have requested. Essentially, they asked Walton to conduct his own review of the unredacted Mueller report
Read 4 tweets
NEW in my/@BuzzFeedNews/@EPICprivacy's #FOIA lawsuit

A federal judge today pressed DOJ on why the public shouldn't be allowed to see redacted portions of Mueller's report, suggesting he may be willing to consider releasing some of the restricted document…
Great work @mvtopic and @EPICprivacy !

Judge Walton raised that prospect to Enlow, suggesting that the DOJ officials tasked with making the FOIA exemptions could have been following directions from higher-ups. He cited his own time working in DOJ, saying that sometimes "the body does what the heads wants."
Read 4 tweets
NEW #FOIA thread: Via docs that NSA IG declassified in response to my FOIA lawsuit

In 2014, NSA IG finished an investigation in response to a complaint that an agency employee failed to report a FISA violation

(This is only being made public now because of #FOIA)

This is the substance of the complaint

The employee or the contractor notified the author of the relevant software program within one day, and the author “immediately” wrote new code that caused the information to be deleted.

Read 6 tweets
MAJOR #FOIA news. A bipartisan bill was introduced last night -- The new Open and Responsive Government Act of 2019 --- by @SenatorLeahy @ChuckGrassley @SenFeinstein & @JohnCornyn to address recent SCOTUS action on #FOIA & EPA's recent move to undermine ##FOIA

This is the first substantive change to #FOIA since passage of #FOIA Improvement Act in 2016 that Obama signed into law, which was supposed to make it easier for requesters to obtain docs

That hasn't worked out as federal agencies have sought new ways to withhold records

Kudos to @OpenTheGov and other groups fighting for transit and open government that worked on this bipartisan bill. Still a lot of work to do to improve #FOIA but this is a good start

Read 3 tweets
Today is 74th anniversary of Trinity nuclear test—the world’s 1st nuclear detonation—near Socorro, New Mexico.


We live still in the shadow of the bomb, cowering in its darkness and calling that “peace.”

Trinity Test (OTD 1946): nuclear detonation of Fat Man implosion design US used to attack city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1946.

approx 6.4kg delta phase Pu (3% gallium) solid core design w/internal beryllium-polonium neutron initiator.

5,000lbs of HE

HT @casillac pic 1

Trinity test (otd 1946) produced significant local and near-local fallout.

Ex: a whole community got at least 8.2 rads &...oh well!

Not even taking into account less than great pre-shot surveying & rad safety efforts.

Health was sacrificed to secrecy.
Read 11 tweets

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