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Judicial Watch • JW v. DOJ Comey-Muller communication complaint 00932

JW v. DOJ Comey-Muller communication complaint 00932

JW v. DOJ Comey-Muller communication complaint 00932

Page 1: JW v. DOJ Comey-Muller communication complaint 00932

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:April 20, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 20, 2018

Tags:Muller, 00932, COMMUNICATION, Special, Comey, Counsel, complaint, responsive, justice, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, records, FBI, DOJ, department, FOIA, office, Washington


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Case 1:18-cv-00932 Document Filed 04/20/18 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, 20530-0001,
Defendant.
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department
Justice compel compliance with the Freedom Information Act, U.S.C. 552. grounds
therefor, Plaintiff alleges 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
SW, Suite 800, Washington, 20024. Plaintiff seeks promote transparency, accountability,
and integrity government and fidelity the rule law. part its mission, Plaintiff
regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA. Plaintiff analyzes the
Case 1:18-cv-00932 Document Filed 04/20/18 Page
responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public
inform them about what their government to.
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, N.W., Washington, 205300001.
STATEMENT FACTS
James Comey testified that, Director the Federal Bureau Investigation,
memorialized writing conversations had with President Donald Trump.
Ex-Director Comey also testified that has communicated with and has
provided those materials the Special Counsel Office. August 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the Justice Department
seeking copies the communications between ex-Director Comey and the Special Counsel
Office about the production those materials the Special Counsel Office. Specifically,
Plaintiff asked for [a]ny and all records communications between former FBI Director James
Comey and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, members Mueller investigative
committee, regarding, concerning relating the return memoranda conversations,
memoranda the file notes regarding same generated Comey following conversations
with government officials during his tenure FBI Director.
Plaintiff FOIA request was referred the FBI, component Defendant, for
processing. letter dated September 26, 2017, the FBI assigned the request FOIPA Request
Number 1385447-000.
-2-
Case 1:18-cv-00932 Document Filed 04/20/18 Page letter dated January 19, 2018, the FBI denied Plaintiff FOIA request.
Specifically, the FBI informed Plaintiff that could neither confirm nor deny that the specific
items you seek exist not exist mere acknowledgment these items would require the
FBI confirm refute these assumptions, which could trigger harm under FOIA Exemption
(b)(7)(A).
10. letter dated February 2018, Plaintiff administratively appealed the FBI
adverse determination.
11. letter dated April 13, 2018, Defendant affirmed the FBI adverse
determination.
12.
Because Defendant has denied Plaintiff administrative appeal, Plaintiff has
exhausted all administrative remedies with respect its August 2017 FOIA request. U.S.C.
552(a)(6)(A)(ii).
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
13.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
14.
Defendant unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiff.
15.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendant violation FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all nonexempt records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request and Vaughn index any responsive
-3-
Case 1:18-cv-00932 Document Filed 04/20/18 Page
records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold
any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request; (4) grant Plaintiff
award attorneys fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred this action pursuant
U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(E); and (5) grant Plaintiff such other relief the Court deems just and
proper.
Dated: April 20, 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 Plaintiff
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