Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #foia

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NEW: NARA's top atty says in May 2021 email released to @business & other news orgs via #FOIA the correspondence between Trump & Kim Jong-un was not turned over to NARA and was placed in a binder for Trump in January 2021.

Story: bloomberg.com/news/articles/… Image
Stern said NARA learned 2 dozen boxes of original presidential records were kept in the WH residence during Trump’s last year in office “and have not been transferred to NARA, despite a determination by Pat Cipollone in the final days of the dministration that they need to be.”
NARA has identified more than 2K pages of docs responsive to my #FOIA requests and has withheld nearly all citing these FOIA exemptions. Image
Read 4 tweets
Background on this transcript of Obama's off the record discussion w/reporters I obtained via #FOIA

This arguably would be considered a presidential record. But b/c it was forwarded via email to DOJ by Obama's press office in 2017 it was stored in DOJ record keeping system

1/
And therefore became subject to FOIA when it turned up during a search DOJ conducted for records I requested in 2017 on Rex Tillerson because Tillerson is mentioned once in the transcript.

2/
Normally, any eop.gov emails that are requested from exec branch agenciew go through a review with the WH to determine what can be released. It's unclear who reviewed what here and when. DOJ has been sitting on this request of mine for 5.5 years.

3/
Read 4 tweets
#FOIAFriday SCOOP: DOJ released a doc to me in response to a 5 year old #FOIA request. It's a doc I didn't specifically ask for. It's a transcript of an off the record discussion Obama had with reporters about Trump, et al, 3 days before he left office

1/
bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Obama told reporters he was not too worried abt 4 yrs of Trump

“Take on some water, but we can kind of bail fast enough to be okay. 8 years would be a problem. I would be concerned about a sustained period in which some of these norms have broken down and started to corrode”
Obama told reporters during this January 17, 2017 discussion that they should pay particularly close attn to DOJ Image
Read 10 tweets
NEW: Remember when Trump took a trip to Japan back in 2019 and reports surfaced that the WH requested the move the USS John McCain out of view so it wouldn't upset Trump?

Well, I #FOIA'd the military for docs about this & 3 yrs later they just arrived

"This just makes me sad"
The White House Military Office passed along a request to keep the USS John McCain out of sight when Trump visited Japan.
How the sequence of events unfolded. An email describing how the directives to keep the USS John McCain out of sight during Trump's 2019 visit to Japan were passed to US Indo-Pacific Command and the Navy
Read 6 tweets
Through #FOIA, we've released an unprecedented number of previously-secret @TheJusticeDept OLC memos that have played an immense role in shaping government policy. So far, @nytimes @ReutersLegal & @lawfareblog have reported on what they reveal. Read the deep dives below🧵
In June, we released one set of legal memos around the Nixon administration's efforts to suppress the Pentagon Papers and prosecute newspapers. Fantastic reporting by @AlisonFrankel in @ReutersLegal. reuters.com/legal/governme…
In July, another batch surfaced new insights into the White House's evolving understanding of its responsibility and power during the civil rights movement. @hassankanu @ReutersLegal surveyed what the docs help us glean about the era's pivotal moments. reuters.com/legal/governme…
Read 5 tweets
1. tomorrow,10.30 am, #London my lawyers @estelledehon @suigenerisjen and I will attend our FOURTH hearing against @metpoliceuk (aka #ScotlandYard) and @ICOnews which have refused to release documents on the current/ex @wikileaks journos @khrafnsson,Sarah Harrison,@SwaziJAF
2. to provide you some context:since 2015,I've been fighting in #UK,#US,#Australia,#Sweden to access the full documentation on #Assange and the #WikiLeaks journos.
In UK this #FOIA battle has required 2 legal cases:one about #JA,another about @khrafnsson,Sarah Harrison,@SwaziJAF
3.both the legal cases have been a real Calvary: the UK,US,Swedish,Australian authorities have done all they could to deny me access and to make the process so time-consuming and expensive...
Read 5 tweets
1/US Govt acknowledging #UFOs exist & Earth needs to be defended or reflection of sense of humor?

National Intelligence Manager for Aviation, part of @ODNIgov, integrates intel to safeguard global air community.

Seal on website caught my attention.

airdomainintelligence.mil
2/ Notice the unknown flying craft in lower left corner. Hmmmm.
3/Now I'm all for NIM-A's mission & vision. Can't argue that it's relevant, necessary & important. Has been ever since aircraft were invented & certainly long range missiles.
Read 8 tweets
John Durham, the prosecutor appointed under the Trump administration to run a counter investigation to the Mueller probe, will complete a final report this year. His politicized inquiry is reportedly winding down.

Here’s what we uncovered about Durham’s work and why it matters.
Shortly after Robert Mueller wrapped up his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, AG Barr announced a new inquiry — one that would examine the origins of Mueller’s investigation and would be led by federal prosecutor John Durham.
americanoversight.org/investigation/…
Our #FOIA litigation revealed that Barr met frequently with Durham— 18 times in the 7 months after the Mueller investigation ended — undermining the principle that federal prosecutors are supposed to be free from political interference.
americanoversight.org/documents-we-o…
Read 9 tweets
This looks like the kind of "golf" wherein a gentleman named Carmine asks you to place your cell phone in a bucket prior to participating, then thanks you for "respecting Mr. Trump's privacy."
FUN FACT: "Carmine" was the name an extortionist used when calling a real estate lawyer in support of Donald Trump. You can read the FOIA about the Homdel police investigation here:
☝️🏽#FOIA by @PropOTP, voiceover by @bellograppa, video by me.
Read 4 tweets
NEW via my #FOIA: Federal law enforcement officers scoured social media to identify threats to FBI buildings and agents and issued internal warnings about possibly armed protests in the days after the FBI searched former President Trump’s Florida estate

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
These 22 pages of documents underscore the ripple effect of the FBI’s search on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and the fears by federal law enforcement of the potential for political violence in its aftermath.
Read 6 tweets
TIL (from @BeauTFC) that Tucker Carlson did a bit about CIA's 2011 declassification of German WWI secret ink recipes, & I went & found it.

Setting aside the insanity of this presentation, I think everyone reading this will find this highly amusing. A 🧵
As Beau pointed out in his video, these records were actually the subject of a #FOIA lawsuit in 1998, in which CIA explained (poorly IMO, but that's beside the point) that the records had to remain classified because reasons. The plaintiff's lawyer pressed them hard on this & ...
made them put a lot of information on the record about the records & why they had to remain secret, even appealing the initial decision to the D.C. Circuit. Where he ultimately lost in 2002, largely due to the deference courts have to give intel agencies under FOIA.
Read 10 tweets
Chipping away at government secrecy one sentence at a time, even if it takes 7 years. A #FOIA 🧵

In April 2015, I filed a #FOIA request w/CIA & then sued the agency for all docs footnoted in the Senate Intel Committee's report on the CIA torture program

1/
CIA turned over 1000s of pages to me. But there were many CIA withheld related to Abu Zubaydah, the agency's 1st high value detainee and the guinea pig for the post 9/11 program

Last Dec, CIA finally relented & turned over some of those docs to me

2/
documentcloud.org/documents/2227…
Having waited nearly 7 years for these records I was outraged that CIA continued to withhold a bunch of records I requested even though much about Abu Zubaydah's torture had been disclosed publicly.

So I appealed (ALWAYS APPEAL)

3/
Read 9 tweets
It wasn’t just in Arizona.

Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, also pressured Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to new reporting from the @washingtonpost.
washingtonpost.com/investigations…
On Nov. 9, 2020, Thomas emailed Wisconsin state Sen. Kathy Bernier and state Rep. Gary Tauchen: “Please take action to ensure that a clean slate of Electors is chosen for our state.”
This is a reference to the plot to use fake slates of electors to overturn the election.

We obtained the fake electoral certificates via #FOIA.
americanoversight.org/investigation/…
Read 6 tweets
Both @ArmsControlWonk's thread on completely different redactions of the same doc and @BryanDBender's piece on the White House's new effort to rein in classification got us at @NSArchive thinking about all the ridiculous things we've seen over the last 37 years. A #FOIA thread.
Like the time we got two versions of the same page of a White House email addressed to then deputy national security adviser Colin Powell. It was reviewed ten days apart by the same reviewer - can you spot the differences? #FOIA Image
Or the time the Clinton administration released a completely unredacted DIA sketch on Gen. Pinochet in 1999, which the agency re-released in 2003 with large swaths of redactions. Among the secrets...that Pinochet's favorite drink was scotch and pisco sours
#FOIA Image
Read 9 tweets
1/Court certainly has discretion to appoint Special Master but I don't see any special legal/factual reason to do so now.

I welcome those w/more federal criminal experience to weigh in but in my experience this request seems unnecessary, unjustified & if anything premature.
2/Attny Lynne Stewart's situation 20 years ago was vastly different. Seizure involved countless docs subject to attny-client privilege, including those of other lawyers. Exceptionally concerning for DOJ/FBI to review materials & Court took unusual step to appoint Special Master.
3/Trump's brief repeatedly cites to his "privileges" as if he were still President. He is not. He has NO privilege to retain records - classified or even unclassified - that belong to American people rather than Trump the individual.
Read 10 tweets
NEW: We’re suing the State Dept., CDC, and HHS for records related to Title 42, an immigration restriction disguised as a public health measure that bars noncitizens’ entry into the U.S.
americanoversight.org/american-overs…
In March 2020, the Trump administration invoked Title 42. Since its implementation, public health experts have criticized the policy as an anti-immigration measure, arguing that it does not actually mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Additionally, legal scholars contend that Title 42 violates international law and undermines the U.S. refugee protection regime. The Biden administration sought to revoke it earlier this year, a move that was blocked in May by a federal judge.
texastribune.org/2022/05/20/tit…
Read 7 tweets
1/Anomalous Health Incident (AHI) Thread

Today, I received #FOIA response from @FBI as part of lawsuit I am handling for AHI records.

ALL records were withheld as exempt pursuant to 7(A), which pertains to ongoing criminal investigations.

Every..single..responsive..page.
2/Yet, last week Court we told "the FBI has completed its search for potentially responsive records. The FBI still anticipates making its first release of responsive, non-exempt material on August 15, 2022, and on the 15th of every subsequent month until production is complete."
3/Really? What records am I to receive every 15th of month when everything is exempt?

Importantly, there is absolutely no way FBI did not know it was going to invoke #FOIA 7(A) when its statement was made to federal judge days earlier. #Disingenuous
Read 6 tweets
For a good chunk of Trump's presidency, there was a flurry of correspondence between the White House & NARA about the preservation of presidential records & adherence to the PRA & WH counsel circulated memos about following the law

1/
In March 2017, Sens McCaskill & Carper wrote to Archivist David Ferriero asking whether NARA was aware of any efforts to skirt the PRA. Ferriero responded that his staff provided a briefing to Trump WH staffers on the PRA.

2/

archives.gov/files/press/pr…
In October 2017, Stefan Passantino circulated a PRA compliance reminder around the WH and he noted: "Failure to abide by these requirements may lead to administrative penalties. The willful destruction or concealment of federal records is a federal crime."

3/
Read 11 tweets
Funny story. In March, I filed a #FOIA request w/Secret Service for docs abt Trump pres. records stored at Mar a Lago

On July 1, I sued Secret Service (& other agencies)

A day after FBI searched Mar a Lago, Secret Service responded to my request

*No responsive docs LOL

1/
BUT WAIT! Secret Service didn't conduct a complete search and claimed that 3 parts of my request fell under the purview of NARA.

So I reached out. My query was escalated...

2/
Secret Service must have quickly drafted that response and second letter because they reached out a short time later and sent me a third letter...

3/
Read 4 tweets
NEW: 8 friggin years ago, I filed a #FOIA request w/NSA for docs used at a presentation the agency gave at Purdue University where NSA was trying to shore up its image after the Snowden leaks

NSA *just* responded & turned over a slide deck. Let's take a look at some

🙄

1/
NSA personnel are friendly and cool and play guitar

2/
NSA is a good neighbor

3/
Read 11 tweets
Ever since we first exposed the #WuhanAnimalLab, WCW has been calling for dangerous gain-of-function experiments on animals to be DEFUNDED ✂️💸🐁🦠🥼🗑

#lableak #GainOfFunction #WhiteCoatWaste

blog.whitecoatwaste.org/2021/02/22/wcw…
We're proud to be working with @RepBuddyCarter to pass a #bipartisan bill to cut taxpayer $ for dangerous gain-of-function experiments ✂️💸🐁🦠🥼🗑

#lableak #GainOfFunction #WhiteCoatWaste

newsweek.com/we-must-stop-f…
WCW's #FOIA investigation first exposed how Fauci's NIAID & EcoHealth Alliance worked together in 2016 to bypass a federal ban on gain-of-function experiments & fund the #WuhanAnimalLab

#lableak #GainOfFunction #WhiteCoatWaste
blog.whitecoatwaste.org/2021/11/04/bom…
Read 3 tweets
We’ve been investigating the Wisconsin partisan election review, barriers to voting, and the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Yesterday, we had major developments in each investigation.

Here’s what you should know.
First, our #FOIA lawsuit revealed that the phones of top DOD and Army officials on Jan. 6, 2021 — including acting Defense Sec. Chris Miller and Army Sec. Ryan McCarthy — were wiped and text messages were not preserved.
americanoversight.org/defense-depart…
We asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the apparent destruction of federal records by DOD and the Army — records that could have shed light on critical open questions about the Jan. 6 attack.
Read 9 tweets
NEW: In court filings related to our FOIA litigation, DOD & the Army admitted they failed to preserve text messages from Jan. 6, 2021. Officials’ phones were “wiped” & “text messages not preserved.” We’re asking AG Merrick Garland to open an investigation.
americanoversight.org/defense-depart…
On Jan. 12, 2021, just six days after the insurrection, we submitted four #FOIA requests to DOD and the Army seeking senior officials’ communications with President Trump, Vice President Pence, and top staff from Jan. 6. After receiving no records, we went to court in March 2021.
DOD & the Army have confirmed in court filings that they wiped the phones of former senior Trump admin. officials, including Acting Sec. of Defense Chris Miller and Army Sec. Ryan McCarthy, while our requests were pending. Any text messages from Jan. 6 were not preserved.
Read 6 tweets
National Institutes of Health Is Again Hiding Records About the Pandemic’s Origin disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/national-ins…
In the latest example, the NIH gave conflicting legal reasons for blacking out emails sent by Scientist Kristian Andersen and Science Magazine Writer Jon Cohen. #FOIA /1
"The agency's behavior here indicates to me that it is trying hard to prevent these records from being made available for public scrutiny,” @JamesCTobias tells me. /2
The NIH sent Tobias a set of 24 emails--first citing #FOIA exemption 6. When Tobias sued, the NIH sent the exact same email, exact same redactions, this time citing exemption 4 & 5. Compare side to side disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/national-ins… /3
Read 10 tweets

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