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THREAD: A #COVID19 #FOIAFriday story

SIX yrs ago, I filed a #FOIA request w/DIA for docs related to Michael Flynn's tenure as head of the agency

DIA failed to respond to my request for 3 yrs. In June 2017, DIA sent me a letter: they were withholding docs b/c Mueller probe

1/
A year ago, I refiled the request and then sued DIA for the Flynn docs. During the course of litigation, we discovered DIA never even initiated a search for docs. We ultimately got them to do that and late last year agreed on a production schedule.

2/
DIA was supposed to produce the Flynn documents to me on Monday. Yesterday, the govt attorney in the case reached out and said b/c of #coronavirus the agency would not meet the March 30 production deadline. The pandemic has impacted their FOIA operations.

3/
Read 5 tweets
NEW THREAD: I can't stress enough how critical it is that we utilize the #FOIA to inform the public about what is happening behind the scenes about #Coronavirus as well as other pressing matters

But it is going to be a battle. State Dept just shut down their #FOIA operations
1/
My colleagues & I @BuzzFeedNews have been aggressively pursuing docs via #FOIA about the pandemic from govt agencies and we are well positioned to push back against govt efforts to stifle the public's right to know & WE WILL

But I need your support
support.buzzfeednews.com
2/
It's crucial that the public be told what has been happening behind the scenes, what is happening now, and what they can expect to unfold in the days, weeks and months ahead. One way to accomplish this is through transparency in the form of documents. Support the #FOIA

3/
Read 4 tweets
Brutal #FOIA opinion from the D.C. Cir. this morning.

DOJ says it can't redact video and therefore must keep all of it secret. Court: Teenagers edit videos all the time, and "presumably, most of these teenagers have fewer resources than the United States government."
Court also rejects DOJ's claim that releasing a video of federal inmates eating in the prison cafeteria would violate their privacy. The panel notes that they are required by law to be eating there, so .......
D.C. Cir.: If the government really can't edit video to conceal faces, it had better explain why. Teenagers, the court says, have found a way to stick cat heads in front of faces, though "we do not necessarily advocate that specific technique."
Read 5 tweets
BREAKING: "Final decision rests with POTUS."

New Ukraine emails released to American Oversight tonight reveal that Pompeo, Esper, and Bolton agreed Ukraine security assistance should "continue as planned."
americanoversight.org/final-decision…
The August 26, 2019, email from a senior career Pentagon official states that there was “no interagency review process with respect to the [Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative]” — contradicting what OMB officials repeatedly told DOD about the aid freeze americanoversight.org/final-decision…
On July 25, 2019 — the day of President Trump's infamous call with President Zelensky — a top OMB official emailed DOD that the administration planned to "review assistance to Ukraine" and directed the Pentagon to withhold further funds "pending direction from that process."
Read 8 tweets
1. If you report about Julian #Assange #ExtraditionHearing next week,don’t forget what my lawyers @estelledehon @suigenerisjen and I unearthed about @cpsuk in a #FOIA litigation still ongoing after 5years! @cpsuk is the very same UK agency in charge of the #extradition process
2. My Foia litigation provide EVIDENCE that it was the @cpsuk which has contributed to create the legal and diplomatic quagmire which has kept Julian #Assange arbitrarily detained and now in prison, maybe for life (if extradited to US)
3. My Foia litigation provides EVIDENCE that the @cpsuk not only advised Sweden to extradite Julian #Assange but looked at the extradition as NOT being dealt with as another extradition request
Read 6 tweets
Just received word that yet another Louisiana municipality has filed suit against a public records requestor solely for making a request. One of these days I hope #lalege outlaws these tactics. #foia #publicrecords
Recently, I was interviewed about this phenomenon, which the rest of the country calls a "reverse public records suit..." There are a lot of reasons why, but these are my top three:
1.) It doesn't cost them. It's not their money, it's ours. While plenty of public servants are worried about taxpayer dollars, there are a few who are not. Unlike when I file a public records suit, there less discussion over the cost because there are no filing fees
Read 6 tweets
THREAD: The Trump Administration's overt violations of the US Constitution's Domestic Emoluments Clause & PPAA are not bugs, they're features. washingtonpost.com/politics/secre…
I'm humbled to be part of the small team responsible for prying loose the source material in today's story.

David @Fahrenthold's reporting would not have been possible without the tireless #FOIA work of @gunita_singh, @_rshapiro & @_LightLaw at @PropOTP wapo.st/3861512
@Fahrenthold @gunita_singh @_rshapiro @_LightLaw @PropOTP This document details USSS payments to Trump Properties (from 1/17 to 6/17). It set off a search for other USSS docs like it in order to learn just how much Trump's businesses are charging the agency when they protect him. It's just the tip of the iceberg.
propertyofthepeople.org/document-detai…
Read 23 tweets
Proud to have given a tad bit of #FOIA help to @Fahrenthold @OConnellPostbiz @jdawsey1 and @CarolLeonnig on this one. washingtonpost.com/politics/secre…
...with receipts.
...with receipts
Read 6 tweets
BREAKING: FBI & DOJ have just turned over the 5th installment of #MuellerMemos (FBI 302s) to me/@BuzzFeedNews & @CNN in response to our #FOIA lawsuits. 298 pgs. Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer & more

We will be going through the docs, which you can read here

buzzfeednews.com/article/jasonl…
@BuzzFeedNews @CNN NEW: Trump promised Michael Flynn a "good recommendation" after he was fired

#MuellerMemos
@BuzzFeedNews @CNN NEW: We receivedJared Kushner's FBI 302 from the Mueller investigation. IT'S ALMOST ENTIRELY REDACTED

#MuellerMemos
Read 7 tweets
Another Ukraine document deadline is tomorrow.

The Energy Department is expected to release more Ukraine-related documents in response to our FOIA lawsuit.
Last week, we obtained 139 pages of records from the Energy Department, which shed light on former Energy Secretary Rick Perry's May 2019 delegation to the inauguration of Ukrainian President Zelensky: americanoversight.org/energy-departm…
More Ukraine-related documents are coming this month and next too.

These are the next deadlines in our #FOIA lawsuits.

TOMORROW: Energy
Feb 10: State
Feb 14: DOD
Feb 21: State
Feb 28: DOD
March 16: Energy
Read 3 tweets
Remember when President Trump used a Sharpie to redraw a weather map that had dared to contradict him?

Late on Friday night, NOAA released hundreds of pages of emails, in response to #FOIA requests from us and others, showing the internal reaction to #SharpieGate.
“What’s next? Climate science is a hoax?"
The team at @capitalweather
has a good breakdown of the key emails here: washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/0…
Read 3 tweets
BREAKING #FOIA: At 10 pm EST tonight, NOAA released hundreds of pages of documents in response to my and other #FOIA requests about Hurricane Dorian and Sharpiegate.

A late night dump from NOAA! Hmm wonder what's in here.

Uploading docs now.
UPLOADED these Hurricane Dorian/SharpieGate documents--more than 1,000 pages--to Google Drive as @documentcloud is failing.

Here's a link and here's one email from the cache: drive.google.com/file/d/1wj3_UV…
@documentcloud I like this email from the cache 😅
Read 27 tweets
#DARPA #TargetedIndividuals #ImmoralPrograms Funded With Taxpayer $$$ Without Consent of Americans #StopTheTorture

@CIA Confirms Biomedical Devices “Classified” Intelligence Sources & Methods

“These devices capable of delivering substantial...

@POTUS
abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread43…
“electrical currents to individuals...& allows the device to be used to deliver testosterone or any other pharmaceutical agent.”

“Under direction of former @CIA Director Michael Hayden & Deputy Director Stephen Kappes, the CIA has used these biomedical sources & methods to...
“engage in torture & retaliation in reprisal for good faith based disclosures to Congress, has done so domestically & is apparently given a free pass on prosecution”

“these programs included unacknowledged Special Access Programs in which statutory reporting obligations...
Read 6 tweets
While Senate Rs voted to blindfold the Senate to key docs & witnesses that Trump blocked the House from considering, thanks to #FOIA, more damning bits & pieces of the truth emerged late LAST NIGHT about Trump’s ILLEGAL Ukraine aid freeze.
(LINK: americanoversight.org/omb-releases-u…)
Despite RAMPANT abuse of FOIA exemptions & redactions (literal cover ups), the docs show WH staff laying the groundwork for the unlawful aid hold, the DAY BEFORE and EVEN DURING Trump's infamous call with Pres. Zelensky. Don’t Americans deserve the full story?
The FOIA'd docs also reveal that MULTIPLE Republican lawmakers reached out to the Trump admin concerned about the Ukraine aid hold. Where are those concerns from Republicans now?
Read 5 tweets
1/ Independence for Oregon’s public records council faces an attack from the association of city governments, @oregoncities. The Public Records Advisory Council’s legislation to insulate the group from politics would be gutted by the cities. #FOIA
olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019I1/Dow…
@OregonCities 2/ The former public records advocate resigned over meddling by the governor, leading to legislative plan to have the council hire the public records advocate and declare it an independent agency. @OrGovBrown supported concept. @Oregoncities lobbyist was lone no vote on PRAC.
@OregonCities @orgovbrown 3/ In January, @OregonCities rep stopped PRAC business, suggesting law didn’t allow any matter except hiring new PRA. No prior notice. Move cost the council a month, and DOJ later determined suggestion was wrong.
Read 6 tweets
Today’s @NYTimes front page uses @MuckRock #FOIA’s to dig into the “Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know” nytimes.com/2020/01/18/tec…
@nytimes Records requests filed to police departments as part of our project with @OpenTheGov found Clearview was scraping every picture it could get its hands on, amassing a private database of 3 billion photos: muckrock.com/news/archives/…
@nytimes @OpenTheGov It’s caught on quickly with departments around the country — over 600 of them — because it lets police departments quickly, without knowledge or a warrant, dig through a person’s history muckrock.com/news/archives/…
Read 4 tweets
THREAD

Last night, DOJ released 169 pgs of FBI intv summaries (known as 302s) from the Mueller investigation in response to my/@BuzzFeedNews & CNN #FOIA lawsuits. It was the 2nd release this month, part of 33 intv summaries House Judiciary sought

1/

buzzfeed.egnyte.com/dl/QOyOORUMxw/…
We asked the judge presiding over our case to prioritize these #MuellerMemos because there was overwhelming public interest in the documents. Judiciary Committee had argued in court last year they needed this as part of their impeachment inquiry

2/

buzzfeednews.com/article/jasonl…
Read 5 tweets
Records received via #FOIA today reveal the EOIR's explanation for why it had sent a series of white nationalist news articles to its staff was not accurate. I'll outline some of those below. cdn.muckrock.com/outbound_reque…
On August 22 @Haleaziz reported that the EOIR had been sending a daily news briefing to its staff that included links to white nationalist propaganda. buzzfeednews.com/article/hameda….
@Haleaziz In April I had uploaded many (not all) of the briefings we had received via FOIA here: hoppocklawfirm.com/eoir-morning-b…
Read 14 tweets
The EOIR requires all "FAMU" cases to be processed in a certain time limit, even when the respondent is not a family unit. Quotas like time limits for adjudication, are basic violations of due process. Here's a series of e-mails from 09/18 confirming this hoppocklawfirm.com/wp-content/upl…
Because the DHS, not the EOIR, designates which cases are "FAMU," the EOIR is allowing a separate agency to dictate which cases it processes faster than others.
This means kids in proceedings alone are being rocketed through the system under adjudication rules made for family units. The only safety valve for the due process problem here was that most would end up on the "status docket." But...
Read 9 tweets
so for 2+ years Ive been fighting a #FOIA battle in court w/ FBI for surveillance records of my Muslim-American n'hood. After yrs of DOJ obfuscation the Judge gave an unprecedented order for FBI agents to appear & answer questions under oath re the #surveillance of my community!
for years FBI agents have repeatedly questioned, harassed & interrogated folks in my community w/out cause... for the first time ever, WE get to be the ones asking the questions... and this poetic justice is giving me LIFE right now.
Our lawyers say ordering the FBI to testify on the stand is unprecedented in a FOIA case. Chicago fam please come join us at the hearing: WED. January 22 @ 9:30 AM at the Dirksen Federal Building, Courtroom 1441. It's a public hearing & all are welcome, it will be historic!
Read 3 tweets
G'day, Mates!

We saw a U.S. SEC #FOIA request floating around regarding Jason Kowalik's @jasonbondpicks proving an active #SEC investigation, and thought we would kick the tyres. Here's a copy of the request submitted by yours truly. Notice that word #investigations 1/x
Sure as fuck, @JasonBondPicks is under #investigation by the Security and Exchange Commision. Mates, real talk. Giving your money to an unlicensed con artist who's under investigation by the federal government of the United States seems like a pretty dumb fucking idea, ya? 2/x
But, holy FUCK, Mates! it gets waaaaay better! The whole lot of these fake fucking #yolo sheilas are under investigation: Jeff Gallant aka Jeff Bishop, @Taylor8xeno8, @bensturgill, @JasonBondPicks, @ThePennyPro 3/x
Read 11 tweets
Several of us have filed #FOIA lawsuits for documents from various federal agencies related to Trump's tweets and the Justice Department has told the court in response that Trump's tweets should not be taken seriously or literally and we should not be given documents.
But agency officials do respond behidn the scenes when Trump goes off on Twitter.

For example, here's then-NSA Director Mike Rogers instructing personnel not to get "sucked in" to Trump's tweetstorm.

"No tit for tat"

Via my #FOIA

documentcloud.org/documents/4609…
*behind*
Read 7 tweets
@NSArchive Cyber Vault 2019 in review: We started the year by compiling submitted testimony for all Congressional hearings on cyber for the past year. This was a proof of concept for an effort that will be repeated annually and extended to previous years. nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/cyber-vau…
@NSArchive @NSArchive Cyber Vault 2019 in review: We looked at 2 datasets to isolate 47 tweets by IRA-linked accounts about the 2017 Charlottesville event. What resulted was a case-study in IRA attempts to play up multiple sides of a political issue. nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/cyber-vau…
@NSArchive Cyber Vault 2019 in review: Court records allowed us to piece together a detailed timeline of APT38's heist from the Bangladesh Bank subsequent money laundering. nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/cyber-vau…
Read 14 tweets
This @nytimes article describes a 2019-09-10 email exchange between OMB official Mike Duffey & DoD official Elaine McCusker.

OMB had ignored DoD's earlier warnings that the repeated holds on Ukraine aid would cause problems,
& now OMB planned to blame DoD.

/1
The article did not provide a copy of these documents, but it quotes from McCusker's email.
Elsewhere the article refers to an email trove obtained by @publicintegrity via a #FOIA lawsuit.

/2
In that lawsuit, @publicintegrity sought
all "records reflecting any communication between"
OMB officials
&
DoD official Elaine McCusker
"concerning the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative"

assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6535…

/3
Read 14 tweets

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