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Judicial Watch • JW v ODNI Clapper complaint 00776

JW v ODNI Clapper complaint 00776

JW v ODNI Clapper complaint 00776

Page 1: JW v ODNI Clapper complaint 00776

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:March 29, 2019

Date Uploaded to the Library:March 29, 2019

Tags:00776, Clapper, Brennan, ODNI, James, FOIA, CIA


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Case 1:19-cv-00776 Document Filed 03/20/19 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
Plaintiff,
Civil Action No.
and
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY,
Office General Counsel
Washington, 20505,
Defendants.
OFFICE THE DIRECTOR
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Washington, 20511
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendants Office the Director National Intelligence (ODNI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) compel
compliance with the Freedom Information Act, U.S.C. 552 (FOIA). 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
Case 1:19-cv-00776 Document Filed 03/20/19 Page
S.W., 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 agencies responses its requests and disseminates both its findings and the requested
records the public inform them about what their government to.
Defendant ODNI agency the United States Government. The ODNI has
possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. The ODNI
headquartered Washington, 511.
Defendant CIA agency the U.S. Government and headquartered
Langley, Virginia. The CIA has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff
seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS April 23, 2018, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the ODNI, via certified
mail (Certified Mail Tracking No. 7017 1000 0000 2547 0808), seeking access the following:
All records communication, including emails (whether .gov non.gov email accounts), text messages and instant chats, between officials
the office the Director National Intelligence, including but not
limited James Clapper, and employees, representatives and contractors CNN.
The time frame for the requested records May 2016 through May 2017.
According the U.S. Postal Service tracking system, Plaintiffs FOIA
request was delivered the ODNI April 30, 2018.
ODNI has not acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs FOIA request and has provided response date.
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Case 1:19-cv-00776 Document Filed 03/20/19 Page April 23, 2018, Plaintiff submitted related request the CIA via
certified mail seeking access records about and communications between the CIA, the ODNI
and CNN employees and/or contractors.
10. letter dated July 19, 2018, the CIA acknowledged that received Plaintiffs
FOIA request May 2018.
11.
Plaintiffs FOIA request consists three subparts. letter dated October 31,
2018, the CIA informed Plaintiff that the CIA deemed subpart Plaintiffs FOIA request
overly broad and lacking specificity. response, Plaintiff agreed narrow the scope
subpart and modified its request seek the following records:
All records communication, including emails (whether .gov non-.gov
email accounts), text messages and instant chats, between officials the office the
Director Central Intelligence, including but not limited DCI John Brennan, and
employees, representatives and contractors CNN. The time frame for the requested
records May 2016 through May 2017.
All records communication, including emails (whether .gov non-.gov
email accounts), text messages and instant chats, between DCI John Brennan and DNI
James Clapper regarding the collection memos known the Steele Dossier. The
time frame for records requested this bullet item May 2016 through January 2017.
All records communication, including emails (whether .gov non-.gov
email accounts), text messages and instant chats, between DCI John Brennan and DNI
James Clapper regarding the news network CNN. The time frame for records requested
this bullet item May 2016 through January 2017.
12.
The CIA acknowledged Plaintiffs revised request letter dated December 12,
2018 and informed Plaintiff that its officers will begin the search and will advise [Plaintiff]
should they encounter any problems they cannot begin the search without additional
information clarification.
13. date, Plaintiff has not received any other communication from the CIA
response its request.
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Case 1:19-cv-00776 Document Filed 03/20/19 Page
14.
Pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i), the ODNI and the CIA were required
determine whether comply with Plaintiffs request within (20) working days after its receipt the
request and notify Plaintiff immediately its determination, the records thereof, and the right
appeal any adverse determination. The ODNIs determination was due May 29, 2018, (20) twenty
working days after receipt Plaintiffs FOIA request. the very latest, the CIAs determination
was due January 11, 2019, (20) twenty working days after acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs
modified request.
15. the date this Complaint, the ODNI and the CIA have 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 Defendants intends
produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; (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.
17.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendants violations FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendants are compelled comply
with FOIA.
18. trigger FOIAs administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendants were
required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs requests within the time limits set
FOIA.
Accordingly, the ODNIs determination was due May 29, 2018, (20) twenty working
days from the date ofreceipt Plaintiffs FOIA request, and the CIAs determination was due
the very latest January 11, 2019, (20) twenty working days from the date acknowledged
receipt Plaintiffs modified FOIA request. these dates, Defendants were required to: (i)
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Case 1:19-cv-00776 Document Filed 03/20/19 Page
gather and review the requested documents; (ii) determine and communicate Plaintiff the
scope any responsive records Defendants intended produce withhold and the reasons for
any withholdings; and (iii) inform Plaintiff that 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).
19.
Because Defendants failed determine whether comply with Plaintiffs FOIA
requests within the time required IA, Plaintiff deemed have exhausted its
administrative appeal remedies. U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(C)(i).
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (I) order Defendants
search for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and demonstrate that they
employed search methods reasonably calculated lead the discovery ofrecords responsive
Plaintiffs FOIA requests; (2) order Defendants produce, date certain, any and all nonexempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and Vaughn index any responsive
records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendants 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)(5) grant Plaintiff such other relief the Court deems just and proper.
Dated: March 20, 2019
Respectfully submitted,
Isl Ramona Cotca
Ramona Cotca (D.C. Bar No. 501159)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Counsel for Plaintiff
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