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1) FISA Judge Letter to Bob Goodlatte
PDF> scribd.com/document/37162…
2) Judge informs Goodlatte that his request is unique. She states in this section her concern over the custody of classified materials. The Executive Branch has custody and control over classified material.
3) IF she were to release classified material over an objection from the Exec Branch it would create an unnecessary conflict between the Court and the Exec Branch. Exec Branch is responsible for the classification of these documents.
4) In addition to stepping on the authority of the Exec Branch releasing these docs could also jeopardize ongoing investigations. Both are legitimate concerns. It is important to note that the judge DOES NOT DENY the request.
5) This section the judge puts the DOJ on the hook to provide the documents that Goodlatte is requesting. She also let's Goodlatte know that she has informed the DOJ that the Court has no objection to their release.
6) She is rightly assigning the responsibility to the Exec Branch where it belongs. She is also stepping back from the situation... FOR NOW. She is basically saying the Legislative Branch and the Exec Branch need to settle this to avoid a new precedent. This is important.
7) It is not stated in the letter but it is known that the primary concern of Goodlatte is that there are two versions of the documents being requested. ie: that the Court docs do not match the DOJ/FBI docs.
8) The KEY to understanding her letter is right here.
9) After putting the DOJ on the hook for providing the docs the Judge in this section sets up the Court as a referee between the Legislative and Executive Branches.
10) She states that the Court cannot render a final judgement until the Exec Branch defines their position. "their handling of your requests WILL INFORM the Court..."
11) She ends the letter letting Goodlatte know that she will be monitoring the DOJ response. She will see what docs the DOJ provides and if they match the Courts.
12) Important to note that the Court IS NOT washing their hands and walking away. The Court put the Exec Branch and the DOJ on the spot to define their position and produce. In poker terms, the Judge is calling and the DOJ now has to lay down their cards for the Court to see.
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