Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #FoiaFriday

Most recents (24)

This week, the Jan. 6 subcommittee discussed the pressure Donald Trump and his allies applied to election officials, including the plot to use fake slates of electors.

We obtained the fake electoral certificates via FOIA. #FoiaFriday
The fake electoral certificates were assembled by Trump supporters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin who sought to replace valid presidential electors with bogus slates of pro-Trump electors.
americanoversight.org/fake-electoral…
The documents also show the names and signatures of the individuals who supported the effort to overturn the will of the people in their state. Most of the certificates contain no indication that they list illegitimate slates of electors not chosen by those states' voters.
Read 10 tweets
On Jan. 6, 2021, supporters of former President Trump launched a deadly attack on American democracy — and we’ve been using public records requests at federal, state, and local level to expose what happened. #FOIAFriday
We obtained and published records that include top DOJ officials’ call logs from Jan. 6, including a handwritten log that appears to document then acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen’s calls. americanoversight.org/american-overs…
Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel, recently told news outlets that he circulated a PowerPoint presentation outlining plans for preventing the election’s certification and used it during briefings on Capitol Hill in the days before Jan. 6.
nytimes.com/2021/12/10/us/…
Read 9 tweets
The Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy forced more than 71,000 asylum-seekers, including children, into dangerous migrant camps along the border.

Here’s what we uncovered about the program and how we’re still investigating. #FoiaFriday
Formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, the “Remain in Mexico” policy required asylum-seekers who arrive at the southern border to return to Mexico to wait for their claims to be processed.
Records we obtained show that the day after former President Trump issued an executive order winding down the family-separation policy, Stephen Miller emailed Chad Wolf, then DHS chief of staff, saying “return to territory.”
Read 9 tweets
This month, the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection will hold eight hearings to shed more light on the violent attack.

We’ve also been investigating. Here’s some of what we uncovered. #FoiaFriday
Last November, the @washingtonpost published an exhaustively reported story showing the attack "was neither a spontaneous act nor an isolated event.” The Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting cited records we’d obtained.
washingtonpost.com/pr/2022/05/09/…
The Post’s report cited Secret Service records we obtained. On the morning of Jan. 6, a Secret Service alert said some people arriving at the “Save America” rally were “wearing ballistic helmets, body armor and carrying radio equipment and military-grade backpacks.”
Read 8 tweets
Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. His efforts to dispute that fact have dominated American politics for over half a year. This week for #FoiaFriday, we’re breaking down what we know about Trump’s efforts to change the results in Georgia.
Trump was seemingly intensely focused on Georgia after he lost that state’s election. He repeatedly appealed to state officials in an apparent effort to undermine the state’s election results.
On December 5, Trump called Georgia Gov. Brain Kemp to pressure him to urge the state legislature to overturn Biden’s victory in Georgia. He encouraged Kemp to conduct an audit of absentee ballot signatures.
washingtonpost.com/politics/trump…
Read 19 tweets
We’ve been investigating white supremacy in the U.S. military.

We previously received responses to our FOIA requests and records that illustrate how branches of the military are not adequately tracking incidents of white supremacy within their ranks.

#FoiaFriday Image
Records we obtained and @USATODAY reported on detailed 13 major investigations into white supremacist activity in the Marine Corps and Navy and show military leaders have quietly discharged the people involved in the incidents.
americanoversight.org/the-u-s-milita…
The records “show a pattern in which military leaders chose to deal with personnel involved in extremism by dismissing them in ways that would not attract public attention.”
usatoday.com/in-depth/news/…
Read 16 tweets
One year ago this week, we filed records requests for records related to Arizona’s partisan election “audit.” Now, the Senate is still fighting transparency. But we’ve already uncovered thousands of records that show three key things. Here are a lot of receipts. #FoiaFriday
First, the Trump administration and its intermediaries were involved from the beginning in urging the Arizona Senate to discredit the election results by claiming there was widespread fraud.
On Nov. 14, 2020, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann emailed colleagues and said: “We are working with our Congressmen, State Party, Boards of Supervisors, Trump team etc to either prove or disprove concerns.”
documentcloud.org/documents/2107…
Read 21 tweets
In June 2020, the Trump admin. unleashed a brutal response to racial justice protests. We uncovered records related to the crackdown on protests, shedding more light on the clearing of Lafayette Square, the involvement of various federal agencies, and more. #FoiaFriday
We uncovered emails and documents about the law enforcement response in Portland, Ore., including a log of complaints made to DHS about officers’ actions there.
americanoversight.org/new-records-ab…
We obtained complaints related to federal officers’ alleged behavior in Portland last June and July, which were collected in a spreadsheet by the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Read 13 tweets
It’s #SunshineWeek, a week that celebrates and promotes access to information and open government nationwide.

This #FOIAFriday, we’re highlighting the power of #FOIA with a thread about its past, present, and future.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed FOIA into law on July 4, 1966. Records show LBJ personally removed strong language supporting open government from the press statement. He only agreed to sign it after DOJ suggested he include a signing statement.
nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/…
In his signing statement, LBJ praised the importance of openness to democracy and said the legislation affirmed American principles. But he also wrote that he felt some documents shouldn’t be available to the public.
nsarchive2.gwu.edu//nsa/foia/FOIA…
Read 13 tweets
In September 2020, the USPS sent American households a mailer with instructions for requesting vote-by-mail ballots, but the information was inaccurate in many states.

Records we obtained show some state officials were “absolutely apoplectic” about the mailer.

#FoiaFriday
The mailers told voters to "request your mail in ballot... at least 15 days before Election Day." But that’s inaccurate for Americans living in the nine states and District of Columbia that automatically mailed ballots to registered voters.
cnn.com/2020/09/14/pol…
Colorado Sec. of State Jena Griswold sued USPS, arguing the mailer attempted to disenfranchise voters with misleading information. We asked the Colorado State Dept. for emails with USPS in anticipation of widespread use of mail-in ballots in the election.
washingtonpost.com/politics/color…
Read 12 tweets
Pennsylvania has joined the growing number of states where partisan actors have launched baseless election investigations. In Sept., lawmakers initiated a “forensic investigation” into the state’s 2020 election results. We’re investigating. #FoiaFriday
americanoversight.org/investigation/… Image
Supporters of former President Trump’s baseless claims of fraud had been laying the groundwork in Pa. for months, creating committees on “election integrity,” filing legislation to impose new voting restrictions, holding hearings about the election process, and more.
One key player who led the push to “audit” Pennsylvania’s election was state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a vocal Trump ally who attended and organized buses to the rally that preceded the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Read 8 tweets
We reached a landmark settlement with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office regarding its open records policy.

The settlement is a huge win for transparency and accountability. It will benefit all public records requesters — and the greater public. #FOIAFriday
In Oct. 2020, we sued Georgia’s Office of the Secretary of State for repeatedly stonewalling our records requests. After more than a year of litigation, we have reached a settlement. The office has agreed to steps to streamline the process of requesting and obtaining records.
The settlement will enhance public access to government records, requiring the secretary’s office to improve training for staff and to provide requesters with better information about costs, timeline estimates, and the status of their requests.
americanoversight.org/american-overs…
Read 10 tweets
🧵#ThisIsWhyIFOI Remember Dr. Bonnie Henry at the @Canucks home opener? I asked @bcndp #bcgov under #FOI about who paid for the jersey and other expenses. Many readers wonder about the PHO attending such commercial events. #bcpoli #cdnfoi #FOIAFriday #SportsBiz #covid19 ImageImage
This morning, @bcndp #bcgov tells me it has rejected my #FOI request about Dr. Bonnie Henry at the @Canucks game, because she was allegedly there as a private citizen, not because she is the provincial health officer. Where have I seen that lame excuse before? 🤔#bcpoli #cdnfoi Image
Last year, Dr. Bonnie Henry co-authored a book with her sister. When I wanted to know about the contract and other details, I was told I couldn’t see them. The “private citizen” excuse was invoked. #bcpoli #cdnfoi #FOIAFriday
thebreaker.news/news/bonnie-bo…
Read 9 tweets
We recently added many new records to our extensive timeline of the Trump administration’s deliberately cruel family-separation policy.

For #FOIAFriday, we’re drawing attention to the role of former Dept. of Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen.
americanoversight.org/a-timeline-of-…
While Nielsen previously tried to distance herself from the family-separation policy, documents we uncovered through FOIA show her involvement.
On March 3, 2017, Reuters reported that the administration was considering a family-separation proposal. An unidentified person emailed the story to the DHS budget director: “I would be truly grateful if you could tell me this isn’t being seriously considered.”
Read 14 tweets
On Jan. 6, supporters of former President Trump stormed the Capitol hoping to stop the transfer of power to President Biden. How did this happen? How do we prevent it from happening again? Here’s how we’re investigating. #FOIAFriday
americanoversight.org/american-overs…
We have filed dozens of FOIAs related to the attacks. Yesterday, we sued for records that could shed light on what was going on behind the scenes when requests for the deployment of National Guard troops to help secure the Capitol were delayed for hours.
americanoversight.org/document/compl…
The lawsuit was filed against the Departments of Justice, Defense, Homeland Security, and the Interior for failing to release records responsive to 11 FOIA requests we filed in August. Here’s some of what the requests ask for:
Read 14 tweets
This #FOIAFriday, we’re talking about taxpayer spending at properties owned by former president Donald Trump. Here’s some highlights of what we’ve uncovered using FOIA and state open records laws so far.
Last December, @MartynMcL of the @TheScotsman reported on records we obtained regarding 4 trips made by Eric Trump. Turnberry — a Trump resort in Scotland — charged U.S. taxpayers $32,742 for the accompanying Secret Service members’ hotel costs.
We uncovered that billionaire and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson paid £1,143 (about $1,500) for a single day of activities at Trump’s golf course in Scotland in July 2018.
scotsman.com/news/politics/…
Read 12 tweets
We continue to obtain records that show the Arizona “audit” aimed to undermine faith in the 2020 presidential election. Here’s what we learned from some of the latest records we obtained through litigation. #FoiaFriday
americanoversight.org/more-evidence-…
A May exchange between Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and state Sen. Vince Leach provides yet another piece of evidence that Senate officials undertook the “audit” with predetermined conclusions in mind — specifically, the discovery of (non-existent) widespread fraud.
After Fann sent a text lamenting the lack of support for the “audit” in the media and from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Leach texted, “Ahh, but it will be great when it is shown they both were on the wrong side of the truth.” Fann replied, “Praying.”
Read 8 tweets
The sham "audit" in Arizona was a partisan exercise aimed at spreading false claims of voter fraud to justify new restrictions on voting. But the “audit” isn’t the only example of this strategy. Here’s other instances we’ve helped expose using public records requests. #FoiaFriday
1. PILF in Florida: The Public Interest Legal Foundation claimed that ballots cast by dead voters in Palm Beach County was evidence of widespread voter fraud. Records we obtained, reported on by @reveal, show that PILF’s research crumbles under scrutiny.
In 2019, PILF claimed that “more than 100 deceased registrants actually cast ballots in recent elections in Palm Beach County after their dates of death.” We obtained the list of these 100 names.
Read 12 tweets
Last winter, Fulton County, Penn., carried out “audits” of its election results, becoming a testing ground for an effort that spread to other states. This week, county officials were ordered to begin releasing "audit" records in response to our records requests. #FoiaFriday
Fulton’s “audits” in Dec. 2020 and Feb. 2021, backed by pro-Trump Sen. Doug Mastriano and others, were conducted by the company Wake TSI — which worked as a contractor to a nonprofit operated by Sidney Powell, who represented Trump in election challenges.
azmirror.com/2021/05/24/gro…
A few months later, Wake TSI joined the “audit” team in Arizona led by Cyber Ninjas, where it was in charge of counting ballots cast in Maricopa County.
azmirror.com/blog/wake-tsi-…
Read 8 tweets
Proponents of the Big Lie are increasingly looking to replicate the Arizona election “audit” in their own states. Records we obtained show that election-denying activists were frequently in touch with those involved in the Arizona effort. #FoiaFriday
In June, “audit” spokesman Randy Pullen received a text message from William “Sparky” Smith, who is from a group called the Election Integrity Project.
documentcloud.org/documents/2105…
“We would like for our 4-6 member team to meet with Az Audit officials who can give details of the logistics of a major audit,” Smith wrote. Smith wanted help setting up an “audit” of counties in California. Pullen responded by asking how he could help.
Read 8 tweets
Arizona is now a hotspot of anti-voting actions. We obtained records of communications between the Arizona attorney general’s office and voting-restriction activists regarding the Brnovich v. DNC U.S. Supreme Court case. #FoiaFriday
In 2016, the Arizona legislature limited who could provide ballot-collection assistance to people voting by mail. Arizona also had a policy of entirely rejecting ballots cast in the wrong precinct. The policy disproportionately impacted Native American and Latinx Arizonans.
The DNC sued Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, arguing that the 2016 law violated a provision of the Voting Rights Act. In a blow for voting-rights advocates, the Supreme Court ruled in Brnovich’s favor this July.
nytimes.com/2021/07/01/us/…
Read 8 tweets
In July 2020, then President Trump directed the Census Bureau to exclude undocumented residents from the count used for congressional reapportionment. We FOIA’d for communications between the Census Bureau & the White House from the week before the order. Here's what we found:
A political appointee named Nathaniel Cogley was placed in the Census Bureau shortly before the executive order that directed the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from apportionment counts. It appears that Cogley had a direct line with the White House chief of staff’s office.
For example, on the day Trump issued the executive order — July 21, 2020 — Cogley emailed a scheduler in the chief of staff’s office to set up a meeting for the next day.
#FoiaFriday
Read 9 tweets
Leonard Leo, co-chairman of the Federalist Society, was a key player in guiding the Trump administration’s federal judicial nominations .

Records we obtained show Leo’s influence during Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. #FoiaFriday
americanoversight.org/document/doj-c…
Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in July 2018. In early September, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on his appointment; later that month, the committee reopened the hearings to discuss sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
On Sept. 15, 2018, Senate Judiciary Chief Counsel Michael Davis emailed a “Nominations Strategy” email group and indicated he spoke to Leonard Leo. Davis wrote: “He is pushing [Kavanaugh] to call on us to reopen the hearing, so [Kavanaugh] can address allegations.”
Read 6 tweets
Troubling example of how federal agencies -- regularly + increasingly with each administration -- redact information from documents that the public has every right to see. How legit are other redactions in Fauci's emails? ronjohnson.senate.gov/services/files… #FOIA #FOIAFriday h/t @thackerpd
Last month I reported on a secretive 2/1/20 meeting that Dr. Fauci helped organize among elite, international scientists to discuss early concerns the Covid-19 virus might have been engineered in a lab. Those emails were also heavily redacted.
usatoday.com/story/opinion/…
Here's what some of those emails about the meeting look like. They were part of a wideranging trove of emails obtained by @BuzzFeedNews -- only because they SUED to force compliance with #FOIA. And yet most information still withheld. buzzfeednews.com/article/natali…
Read 5 tweets

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