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Judicial Watch • JW DCNF v DOJ Comey Obama admin memos complaint 00967

JW DCNF v DOJ Comey Obama admin memos complaint 00967

JW DCNF v DOJ Comey Obama admin memos complaint 00967

Page 1: JW DCNF v DOJ Comey Obama admin memos complaint 00967

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:April 24, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 25, 2018

Tags:DCNF, Caller, ADMIN, daily, memos, Joe Biden, 00967, Cheney, Comey, senator, Plaintiffs, requests, complaint, responsive, Hillary Clinton, defendant, filed, Obama, plaintiff, request, document, FBI, records, DOJ, FOIA, Washington


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Case 1:18-cv-00967 Document Filed 04/25/18 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800,
Washington, 20024,
and
THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION,
1920 Street, N.W., Suite 200,
Washington, 20036,
Plaintiffs,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,
Washington, 20530-0001,
Defendant.
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiffs Judicial Watch, Inc. and The Daily Caller News Foundation bring this action
against Defendant U.S. Department Justice compel compliance with the Freedom
Information Act, U.S.C. 552. grounds therefor, Plaintiffs allege follows:
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B)
and U.S.C. 1331.
Venue proper this district pursuant U.S.C. 1391(e).
PARTIES
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. not-for-profit, educational organization
incorporated under the laws the District Columbia and headquartered 425 Third Street
Case 1:18-cv-00967 Document Filed 04/25/18 Page
SW, Suite 800, Washington, 20024.
Judicial Watch seeks promote transparency,
accountability, and integrity government and fidelity the rule law. part its
mission, Judicial Watch regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA.
Judicial Watch analyzes the responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records
the American public inform them about what their government to.
Plaintiff The Daily Caller News Foundation has its principal place business
1920 Street, N.W., Suite 200, Washington, 20036.
Founded 2011 Tucker Carlson, 20-year veteran print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser
Vice President Dick Cheney, DCNF 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing original
investigative reporting from team professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.
DCNF website reaches approximately three million unique monthly visitors and its content,
which available without charge any eligible news publisher, published The Daily
Caller, Yahoo News, Business Insider and growing host other media outlets, reaching
combined audience estimated excess million readers.
Defendant U.S. Department Justice agency the United States
Government.
Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff
seeks access.
Defendant headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington,
20530-0001.
STATEMENT FACTS May 22, 2017, Judicial Watch submitted FOIA request the Federal
Bureau Investigation, component Defendant, seeking:
Any and all records (sometimes referred memoranda the file,
memoranda for record, and other variants) written ordered written
FBI Director James Comey summarizing his conversations with any
the following individuals: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton,
Case 1:18-cv-00967 Document Filed 04/25/18 Page
Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Nancy Pelosi, and Senator John
McCain.
Any and all handwritten notes used the basis for preparing any records
responsive [part A].
The time frame for the requested records September 2013 May 2017. letter dated May 25, 2017, the FBI acknowledged receiving Judicial Watch
FOIA request and informed Judicial Watch that had assigned the request FOIAPA Request
Number 1374674-000. February 16, 2018, DCNF submitted FOIA request the FBI seeking
records that identify and describe all meetings between former FBI Director James Comey and
President Barack Obama. letter dated February 26, 2018, the FBI acknowledged receiving DCNF
FOIA request and informed DCNF that had assigned the request FOIAPA Request Number
1396901-000.
10. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) produce the
requested records demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt from
production; (ii) notify Plaintiffs the scope any responsive records Defendant intends
produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; (iii) inform Plaintiffs that they may
appeal any adequately specific, adverse determinations.
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
11.
Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs through fully stated herein.
12.
Plaintiffs are being irreparably harmed Defendant violation FOIA, and
Plaintiffs will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
Case 1:18-cv-00967 Document Filed 04/25/18 Page trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
13.
required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs FOIA requests within the time limits set FOIA.
Accordingly, Defendant determination with respect Judicial Watch FOIA
request was due June 23, 2017, and Defendant determination with respect DCNF FOIA
request was due March 26, 2018. minimum, Defendant was obligated to: (i) gather and
review the requested documents; (ii) determine and communicate Plaintiffs the scope any
responsive records Defendant intended produce withhold and the reasons for any
withholdings; and (iii) inform Plaintiffs that they may appeal any adequately specific, adverse
determination.
See, e.g., Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Washington Federal
Election Commission, 711 F.3d 180, 188-89 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
14.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiffs FOIA
requests, Plaintiffs are deemed have exhausted its administrative appeal remedies. U.S.C.
552(a)(6)(C)(i).
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court: (1) order Defendant
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all nonexempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and Vaughn index any responsive
records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold
any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests; (4) grant Plaintiffs
award attorneys fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred this action pursuant
U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(E); and (5) grant Plaintiffs such other relief the Court deems just and
proper.
Case 1:18-cv-00967 Document Filed 04/25/18 Page
Dated: April 25, 2018
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Michael Bekesha
Michael Bekesha
D.C. Bar No. 995749
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
Phone: (202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiffs