Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-00896)
Judicial Watch announced today that on May 28, 2014, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of ATF Fast and Furious whistleblower Special Agent John Dodson. The suit specifically seeks communications between former DOJ Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Katherine Eban, author of controversial “Fortune” magazine article denounced by House Oversight Committee.
On September 24, 2012, Dodson filed three FOIA requests, but to date, DOJ has failed to respond to Dodson’s requests. The Judicial Watch lawsuit filed on behalf of Dodson asks that the District Court order the DOJ to conduct searches for all records responsive to the FOIA requests and to “produce, by a certain date, any and all non-exempt records,” along with indices of all records that DOJ continues to declare exempt.
Dodson’s requests stem from the suspected leaking of information about him by former DOJ Director of Public Affairs Tracy Schmaler to Fortune magazine writer Katherine Eban, including Dodson’s confidential personnel file. Eban’s June 2012 Fortune magazine article defending the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) was denounced by the House Oversight Committee, which publicly called for a retraction.
“It is clear that John Dodson was smeared by DOJ officials for having the courage to be the first whistleblower in the Fast and Furious scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And it is equally clear that those who attacked him have gone unpunished, despite the disciplinary provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Act. Perhaps once we have the complete records of Ms. Schmaler’s actions, the Office of Special Counsel will do its job and we will finally see justice prevail.”
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