Federal Judge Orders Justice Department to Explain Why Awan Documents Are Being Kept Secret
From The Epoch Times:
An apparently frustrated federal judge ordered attorneys for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appear Jan. 15 for a “snap” hearing to explain why the government isn’t producing documents sought by Judicial Watch concerning former Democratic information technology aide Imran Awan.
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Amit Mehta’s unusual order followed a sealed submission by DOJ attorneys Jan. 10 in the case prompted by the nonprofit government watchdog’s November 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
Such hastily convened hearings are extremely unusual in a federal judicial system so jammed that months can pass before cases are litigated in courtrooms.
“In a hearing last month, U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta expressed frustration and ordered the Justice Department to explain its failure to produce records by January 10 and to provide Judicial Watch some details about the delay,” Judicial Watch said in a statement Jan. 14 about the snap hearing.
“Instead, the Justice Department made its filing under seal and has yet to provide Judicial Watch with any details about its failure to produce records as promised to the court,” Judicial Watch said.
Federal attorneys previously said in December 2019 that they were unable to provide the documents sought in the Judicial Watch FOIA requests because they include materials from a “related sealed criminal matter.”