DOJ Refuses To Release Records On Imran Awan, Citing ‘Technical Difficulties’ And A Secret Case, Court Docs Show
From The Daily Caller:
- Judicial Watch sued the Department of Justice for records about former Democratic cybersecurity aide Imran Awan in order to square evidence of wrongdoing with prosecutors’ decision not to charge malpractices on Capitol Hill.
- The DOJ said it could not produce records under FOIA because of “technical difficulties,” then said it was actually because of a secret case it had not wanted to mention, according to a court filing.
- As the lawsuit heated up, a judge appears to have erased information about Awan’s wife Tina Alvi from the record, despite the DOJ itself opposing such a move as highly unusual.
The Department of Justice is withholding documents about the Imran Awan cybersecurity scandal by saying there is an ongoing, secret case related to matter, according to court papers.
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit Nov. 7, 2018, for 7,000 pages of Capitol Police records related to the cybersecurity investigation, and Aug. 2, the DOJ agreed to begin producing records by Nov. 5.
That deadline came and went with no records being produced; on a Nov. 13 phone call, the DOJ said “technical difficulties” had resulted in a delay, Judicial Watch stated in a court filing.The DOJ later changed its story and said it was actually withholding documents “pursuant to an Order issued by the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan who is presiding over a related sealed criminal matter,” prosecutors said in a Dec. 5 filing. (RELATED: Fifteen Things To Know About ‘Pakistani Mystery Man’ Imran Awan)
“The ‘difficulties’ in providing responsive material was [sic] due to the unexpected and unique set of facts described above that was out of control of the Defendant. Defendant’s only motivation was to maintain the integrity of the sealed matter as much as possible,” assistant U.S. Attorney Benton Peterson said in the filing.
Awan’s attorney, Chris Gowen, did not respond to a request for information about any ongoing case.
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