FBI Tells Court Transparency Not Mission-Critical
From Tom Fitton’s article for NewsMax:
Our FBI has blessed us with a fitness app and is promoting it on Twitter — to the horror of privacy advocates, because it requires users to enter their GPS coordinates.
At the same time, our FBI has shut down its FOIA operations, because of the coronavirus.
Here’s the latest. We have released a joint status report in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for records about top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr, in which the DOJ states it has suspended electronic FOIA operations. The Ohrs were involved in the anti-Trump dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele.
The Justice Department claims it is currently unable to continue searching for documents because the employees who would conduct the search in the FBI Records/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS) are, “non-mission critical” during the COVID-19 pandemic and were ordered to stay at home beginning March 17.
Included in the joint status report is a declaration from Michael G. Seidel, the FBI’s Assistant Section Chief of RIDS, Information Management Division, in which he states:
RIDS employees have been designated as not mission-critical and sent home as of March 17, 2020. Only a limited number of managers are being permitted to report to the office, but no FOIA processing is occurring as of March 17, 2020. While RIDS currently anticipates that its staff will return to work on March 30, 2020, this situation remains fluid and will be regularly re-assessed as circumstances change. As of March 17,2020, no further production of records pursuant to FOIA will be made, whether those productions are in relation to requests in litigation or at the administrative stage.
Read More Here.