CREW v. Department of Justice
On June 2, 2011, CREW sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) for failing to provide records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) concerning the government’s investigation of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Emeritus Jerry Lewis (R-CA). In 2006, DOJ, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies launched an investigation into whether Rep. Lewis broke the law by steering millions of dollars in earmarks to clients of lobbying firms managed by his friend former Rep. Bill Lowery (R-CA) in exchange for campaign contributions. After four years, the DOJ announced it had closed its investigation of Rep. Lewis’s conduct. CREW’s FOIA requests to the FBI, Criminal Division, and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys sought records concerning these investigations in an effort to determine why DOJ never prosecuted Rep. Lewis.