Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #FoIA

Most recents (24)

Impeachment hearings continue today in the House Judiciary Committee - and we'll be following along.

You can watch here:
The White House is refusing to participate in today's hearing - and the administration has adopted a position of total obstruction of the congressional impeachment investigation, refusing to release any documents.
Our #FOIA litigation has already uncovered nearly 100 pages of State Dept. records that the administration refused to release to Congress - including records that link Rudy Giuliani to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - and that was just the beginning.…
Read 4 tweets
5 years ago tomorrow, on the day the 525 page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report was released, @vicenews, where I worked at the time, dropped this bombshell that I produced.

I spent 10 yrs chasing him in hopes of landing the very first intv.
James Mitchell, one of the 2 psychologists credited with being the architect of the CIA'S torture program, admitted to me for the 1st time right after the torture report was released 5 yrs ago that he personally waterboarded KSM & 2 other CIA prisoners…
Mitchell is not named in the torture report. Rather, he is identified by the pseudonym Grayson Swigert. He confirmed to me at the time that he is the Grayson Swigert identified in the report.
Read 9 tweets
TOMORROW will mark 5 yrs since the 525 page exec summary of the Senate Intel Committee's 6700 page torture report was released

I covered the drafting of the report & the politics leading up to release extensively

It wasn't clear the report's summary would ever be released

So in an effort to get the torture report released, in 2014 I filed a #FOIA request with CIA for it and sued arguing the report was an agency record subject to #FOIA

What I didn't know then & know now is Sen Feinstein and her top staff did not want it released via FOIA

Recently, the Justice Department posted 150 pages of emails and other documents on its #FOIA reading room revealing, in part, what went on behind the scenes after I, and later ACLU, filed the lawsuit.

I had never seen these documents before.…

Read 8 tweets
I just published (with @violagienger) this comprehensive Timeline on #Nunes and his alleged efforts to get dirt on Joe Biden.

"Timeline: Rep. Devin Nunes and Ukraine Disinformation Efforts"

Let me also highlight one important finding....…
@violagienger One potentially BIG finding:

On Thursday, March 28, two phone calls are added to Pompeo’s calendar:

a 20-minute call with Giuliani on Friday, March 29
a 20-minute call with Nunes on Monday, April 1

March 28 is same day Giuliani said he handed his Ukraine packet to Pompeo.
@violagienger Records showing Nunes-Giuliani calls with Pompeo were due to @weareoversight's successful #FOIA litigation

The Timeline relies on great reporting by CNN’s @VickyPJWard Daily Beast’s @woodruffbets Washington Post’s @PostRoz @ColbyItkowitz CNBC’s @christinawilkie NBC’s @kwelkernbc
Read 3 tweets
NEW: For 2 years, @BuzzFeedNews & I have been trying to pry loose via #FOIA lawsuits against multiple govt agencies docs related to the death of Mikhail Lesin, Putin's former media czar who authorities say died in his hotel room from drunken falls

It hasn't been going well

These agencies maintain there was nothing suspicious about Lesin's death yet they have withheld in their entirety thousands of pages of documents generated in the days leading up to and immediately after his death.

Lesin is one of the high profile figures we wrote about extensively @BuzzFeedNews and he is featured in @HeidilBlake's new book, From Russia With Blood.

Read 3 tweets
This week, @a_cormier_ & I reported on an individual who worked at FinCEN who was deemed by Treasury IG to be a "potential insider threat" during the height of the 2016 election and was reported to FBI counterespionage.

One other thing...

@a_cormier_ The Treasury IG report we obtained via #FOIA also made another serious finding. IG conducted a review of FinCEN's security procedures & issued a still confidential report that found a number of serious shortcomings

The head of security at the FinCEN was sanctioned & resigned

@a_cormier_ This was revealed to us in 2017 by whistleblowers. They told us about disarray at FinCEN that due, in part, to poor leadership and lead to alleged counterintelligence threats, such as these, which formed the basis of our investigative story last Dec

Read 3 tweets
NEW: Docs from @SecretService show $254K in spending at Trump-owned properties in first 6 mos. of Trump @WhiteHouse. FOIA obtained via @PropOTP. This is different than how much the Secret Service incurs on protecting the president + family (annual budget for that is $750M).
Over 6-month period from Jan to June '17, nearly $170K was spent at Trump golf clubs, incl. Mar-a-Lago, more than $45K was spent at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas and nearly $39K went to the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Reminder: @realDonaldTrump still owns his company.
$254K is far higher than a @USGAO estimate of Secret Service spending at Mar-a-Lago covering 4 trips in Feb and March 2017. (It said it spent just $35,750). But hard to break out #s by property.…
Read 4 tweets
1.voglio spiegarvi,spero per l’ultima volta,il caso svedese contro Julian #Assange,che è stato archiviato ieri per la 3a volta in 9anni.Mi scuso, ma proprio mi manda in bestia la saga di errori madornali che i media continuano a propalare
2. Il 20agosto2010,esattamente 3settimane dopo la pubblicazione di 92mila documenti segreti sulla guerra in #Afghanistan,Julian #Assange finisce indagato dalla Swedish Prosecution Authority di Stoccolma per 1) stupro 2)molestie sessuali ai danni di due donne svedesi
3. Il 25agosto 2010,esattamente 5 giorni dopo essere stata aperta,l’indagine per stupro viene chiusa dalla procuratrice capo di Stoccolma: Eva Finne’, che stabilisce che le accuse di stupro non sussistono e tutta l’indagine va derubricata a “molestie sessuali”
Read 32 tweets
1) One week from today, @JoshBurday will represent me in federal district court in a FOIA lawsuit hearing re: Eddington v DoD IG, 17-cv-00128. It’s rare that FOIA cases actually get formal hearings, particularly when one of the defendants is #NSA so some quick background follows.
@JoshBurday 2) At stake is whether #NSA can invoke Section 6 of the NSA Act of 1959 to conceal waste, fraud, abuse or even criminal conduct. Not quite two years ago, the good folks @just_security published my first major piece on this case and our initial findings:…
@JoshBurday 3) Simply stated, in the four years prior to the 9/11 attacks, a small group of very talented guys at NSA came up with a way to scan digital traffic for signs that a US Person was in comms with terrorists, segregate that traffic for analysis, & discard everything else.
Read 16 tweets
.@kpolantz Do I need to point out to you the portion of MY request that specifically requested 302s, which is the whole reason your lawsuit was consolidated into our case?

This story is ridiculous. We sued for 302s & OTHER docs ONE MONTH before CNN.…
My/@BuzzFeedNews #FOIA lawsuit filed May 2. CNN filed in June. @kpolantz please correct your Nov. 4 story. You have now misrepresented the facts in print several times over the past few months.
Read 3 tweets
NEW: There is VERY IMPORTANT info in these two declarations from DOJ & FBI regarding the current state of their #FOIA operations. These were just filed in response to my/@BuzzFeedNews lawsuits for Mueller docs.

Couple takeaways……
Despite a massive increase in #FOIA litigation and the number of requests filed with DOJ the agency has not requested additional funding from Congress to deal with the uptick.
FBI has a dedicated team to respond to #FOIA requests and lawsuits pertaining to Mueller investigative documents.
Read 4 tweets
HUGE #FOIA WIN for me against CIA GLOMAR!

Years ago, I filed a #FOIA request with CIA for docs CIA had on payments/arming Syrian rebels. After Trump tweeted in 2017 he ended the program I sued CIA.

District court just struck down CIA GLOMAR & agency must provide me with docs
This is the first time to my knowledge a Trump tweet has had this kind of impact in a lawsuit #FOIA. My entire #FOIA case was connected to Trump's tweets. Now the CIA must provide me with docs that would for the first time confirm the agency's payments and arming Syrian rebels
Here is the District court's opinion (they erroneously referred to me as the "ACLU" in one sentence on the first page).

This massive #FOIA victory is due to the incredible legal work by my amazing #FOIA attorney @_LightLaw

Read 3 tweets
This one did not show in thread either had to go to my page and tweets to find it. What does that mean? Who is playing 4d chess? Are you even near that level 🤣 once upon a newsbud. Then there was none.
Epstein is not the only douchery. Click on main tweet where I say mofo. The tweet and the one after are not there @Twitter @jack @JamesOKeefeIII half truthers are really taking it to next level. Attacking her... Just amazing. NDAA? National security letters gagged it? No? Her?
Read 4 tweets
From Michael Cohen's FBI 302 regarding Trump Tower Moscow negotiations ending in Jan 2016 via our #MuellerMemos cache.

"COHEN previously talked about this script with TRUMP. COHEN did not tell TRUMP he thought the script was untrue because TRUMP already
knew it was untrue"
Michael Cohen and Trump discussing Trump Tower Moscow in July 2016? From Cohen's FBI 302 #MuellerMemos #FOIA

On July 27, 2016 at a news conference Trump made the now infamous call to Russia to find HRC's missing emails and said he had no deals in Russia…
Read 4 tweets
Another Steve Bannon email from our #MuellerMemos cache: A month before he was fired from the WH in 2017 he exchanged emails with someone (name redacted) about Kushner. Attached to the email was this story and some interesting commentary about Kushner

Bannon used scare quotes when saying Kushner was vacationing off the coast of Croatia with a Russian billionaire. Says he heard he had a meeting with wikileaks in Europe in 2016 and that he learned it from a "progressive activist with ties to Pelosi."

Bannon says he could not verify the claims about the wikileaks mtg but that he heard it happened "from a fairly reliable source," the progressive activist with ties to Pelosi

The Breitbart person who sent Bannon the email is asking how to prove Bannon's claims about Kushner

Read 7 tweets
Earlier this year, right after AG Barr released his memo characterizing Mueller's report, I started filing #FOIA requests for primary source documents that were used to draft the report as well as other underlying documents amassed by Mueller's probe

Then after Mueller's report was released, I filed dozens more #FOIA requests for additional documents. The footnotes in the report made clear that these primary source documents could further flesh out the narrative about 2016/obstruction.

I also wanted to gain access to the documents that would shed light on how Mueller came to issue the unprecedented statement about the story @a_cormier_ and I published about Cohen being directed to lie to Congress by Trump. So I filed another #FOIA request.

Read 15 tweets
NEW: Do you want to work for free? Well, neither do credit ratings firms. Which is why a postcrisis SEC rule that enabled them to publish unsolicited credit ratings for free has yielded few, if any, results. Bond issuers easily beat that price point.…
The SEC declined to answer questions about the program, but said in response to a #FOIA request that after a “thorough search” of its records, it “did not locate or identify” any examples of unsolicited ratings published by ratings firms under the rule.
Credit ratings firms told me they either haven't or don't plan to issue any unsolicited ratings under the rule, formally known as 17g-5.
Read 11 tweets
NEW: The Office of Special Counsel (not Mueller) is working on a Sunday responding to #FOIA requests. I asked OSC for docs related to Kellyanne Conway and the Hatch Act

Here's a previously undisclosed Dec 2018 letter sent to her. The WH also asked OSC to withhold a document
And here's an April 2019 letter sent to the White House counsel from OSC about discussions related to compliance with the Hatch Act, which also references Kellyanne Conway. #FOIA
Here's a January 2019 response to OSC from the White House about the Hatch Act that is completely redacted. #FOIA
Read 3 tweets
So many thoughts on this (thus, a thread).... On the one hand, this debacle should have ended years ago - indeed before the inauguration (more on that below); but ... it would be naive to accept this at face value.... /1…
/2 OK, nobody (or no one credible) seems to think/believe that the market value of the lease is anywhere near $500M. Which begs the question(s): why? or why now?…
/3 As for ... why now? The lease (see provision/clause 6.5) had a three-year holding period from the hotel's opening, so, that expires Oct. 26, 2019 ... which probably explains the timing of the announcement. HT to: @TheViewFromLL2, because my copy of the lease was redacted.
Read 27 tweets


(Grant Ankeny is the pseudonym Matthew Whitaker used for emails when he as acting AG)
Matthew Whitaker is an Akeny, Iowa native and it appears he lived on Grant Street, hence the pseudonym.

DOJ says he was given the pseudonym to protect his privacy and security.
Read 3 tweets
Conservative watchdog grp @JudicialWatch released new HillaryClinton emails on the 2012 Benghazi attack & cover-up that have been hidden for years and would have exposed the fact that Hillary had a private server when the State Depart discovered her private email back in 2014...
..Recall, it was JudicialWatch who blew the story wide open about Hillary’s use of a private server back in 2015 through a #FOIA lawsuit. The long withheld email, clearly responsive to JudicialWatch’s lawsuit seeking records concerning “talking points or updates on the Benghazi..
..attack,” contains Clinton’s private email address & a conversation abt the YouTube video that sparked the Benghazi "talking points" scandal (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). This Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the..
Read 21 tweets
NEW: From a 2yr old #FOIA request by me & citizen Tyler Albertario: Was Jeanne Pirro given a heads up on @PreetBharara's firing in 2017? She emailed Jody Hunt at DOJ moments before Preet was fired saying, "Oh to be a fly on the wall re: SDNY"
@PreetBharara *Jeanine*
@PreetBharara FULL cache of internal DOJ emails…
Read 3 tweets
1/This much welcomed @StateDept report on #HRC e-mail controversy is very administrative in nature and should not be (mis)interpreted in an exaggerated manner. It is crucial to really understand the #security implications based on actual experience with these types of issues.
@StateDept 2/I should first note I rep'd @GOP in providing advice on #HRC e-mail issues & @DailyCaller in #FOIA case re: security training for @StateDept senior officials in this controversy.

I also routinely handle defending against security infractions for fed employees.
@StateDept @GOP @DailyCaller 3/ROI concludes 38 individuals were culpable for 91 security violations. Unclear how many attributed to each person but that's 2-3 violations per person on average. Honestly, that's very common. I have had (successful) cases where indiv accused of abt 2 doz security violations.
Read 7 tweets
The FBI has released a cache of records from its investigative file on Jeffrey Epstein. #FOIA
From the FBI's 2006 investigative file on Jeffrey Epstein.

Ongoing federal investigation involving child prostitution #FOIA
The FBI opened an investigation into Jeffrey Epstein and other subjects (name redacted) on July 24, 2006 related to child prostitution. Investigation also involved the Albuquerque and San Juan field offices. #FOIA
Read 13 tweets

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