Skip to content

Get Judicial Watch Updates!

DONATE

Judicial Watch • JW v. DOJ FBI Russia comms complaint 00726

JW v. DOJ FBI Russia comms complaint 00726

JW v. DOJ FBI Russia comms complaint 00726

Page 1: JW v. DOJ FBI Russia comms complaint 00726

Category:

Number of Pages:5

Date Created:March 20, 2019

Date Uploaded to the Library:March 20, 2019

Tags:00726, Comms, withhold, Ramona, Russia, Russian, Pennsylvania, requests, Plaintiffs, responsive, filed, plaintiff, request, records, FBI, DOJ, FOIA, Washington


File Scanned for Malware

Donate now to keep these documents public!


See Generated Text   ∨

Autogenerated text from PDF

Case 1:19-cv-00726 Document Filed 03/15/19 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 the U.S. Department Justice
(Defendant DOJ) 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)(8)
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 oflaw. part its mission, Plaintiff
regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant the Freedom Information Act
Case 1:19-cv-00726 Document Filed 03/15/19 Page
(FOIA). Plaintiff analyzes the responses and disseminates its findings and the requested
records the American public inform them about what their government to.
Defendant agency the United States Government. Defendant has
possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. Defendant
headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, 20530-0001.
STATEMENT FACTS
This lawsuit arises out two separate requests Plaintiff submitted the
Defendant and the Federal Bureau oflnvestigation (FBI), component Defendant. May 21, 2018, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the FBI seeking access
the following records:
All records internal FBI communications, including emails (whether .gov non-.gov email accounts), text messages instant chats,
officials the offices the FBI Director, FBI Deputy Director and Office General Counsel regarding possible Russian involvement and/or interference the 2016 presidential campaign.
The time frame for the requested records January 2016 through May 2017. letter dated May 30, 2018, the FBI acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs request
and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned FOIPA Request No. 1406737-000. letter dated June 18, 2018, the FBI asserted that all records responsive
Plaintiffs FOIA request were exempt from disclosure under U.S.C. 552(b )(7)(A) and thereby
withheld all responsive records. letter dated July 18, 2018, Plaintiff administratively appealed the FBIs
determination withhold all records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request.
10. letter dated July 31, 2018, the Office oflnformation Policy (OIP) the DOJ
acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs administrative appeal the FBIs determination withhold
all records and assigned the appeal number DOJ-AP-2018-007286.
-2-
Case 1:19-cv-00726 Document Filed 03/15/19 Page
11. email dated September 27, 2018, the OIP the DOJ affirmed the FBIs
determination withhold all responsive records pursuant U.S.C. 552(b )(7)(A).
12. letter dated May 21, 2018, Plaintiff submitted the second FOIA request the
DOJ seeking access the following records:
All records internal DOJ communications, including emails (whether
.gov non-.gov email accounts), text messages instant chats, officials
the offices the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General regarding
possible Russian involvement and/or interference the 2016 presidential
campaign.
The time frame for the requested records January 2016 through May 2017.
13. June 2018, the DOJ acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs FOIA request and
assigned Tracking Number: DOJ-2018-005906.
14. letter dated July 2018, the DOJ indicated that would need additional time
beyond the statutory time period provided FOIA respond Plaintiffs FOIA
request. Plaintiff has not received any other correspondence about its FOIA request from the
DOJ since then.
15. the date this Complaint, the DOJ has failed to: (i) produce the requested
records demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt from production; (ii)
notify Plaintiff the scope any responsive records Defendant intends produce withhold
and the reasons for any withholdings; and/or (iii) inform Plaintiff that may appeal any
adequately specific, adverse determination.
COUNTI
(Violation ofFOIA, U.S.C. 552)
16.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
-3-
Case 1:19-cv-00726 Document Filed 03/15/19 Page
17.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendants violation FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
18. trigger FOIAs administrative exhaustion requirement, the DOJ was required make final determination Plaintiffs FOIA request within the time limits set FOIA.
Accordingly, the DOJs determination was due July 18, 2018.
19.
Because the DOJ failed make final determination Plaintiffs FOIA request
within the time limits set FOIA, Plaintiff deemed have exhausted its administrative
appeal remedies.
20.
Plaintiff further being irreparably harmed the FBIs wrongful determination withhold all records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request under FOIA Exemption U.S.C.
552(b)(7)(A), 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 Plaintiffs 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 indices 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 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.
-4-
Case 1:19-cv-00726 Document Filed 03/15/19 Page
Dated: March 15, 2019
Respectfully submitted,
Isl Ramona Cotca
Ramona Cotca (D.C. Bar No. 501159)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Counsel for Plaintiff
-5-