April 30, 2018

CREW requests:

  1. All documents concerning or reflecting the efforts of the FEC to conform with the court’s decision in CREW v. FEC, No. 16-cv-2255, 2018 WL 1401262 (D.D.C. March 20, 2018) (“CREW v. FEC”)
  2. The FEC’s Office of General Counsel memorandum in this matter setting forth its recommendation whether to appeal the March 20, 2018 decision of the district court.

In the most recent CREW v. FEC decision, the district court found that the FEC’s dismissal of CREW’s complaint against the American Action Network (“AAN”), based on the group’s failure to disclose its expenses and contributors, was contrary to law. As a result, the FEC was obligated to conform to the court’s judgment within 30 days. When the FEC failed to do so, CREW sued AAN directly.

Subsequently, FEC Chair Caroline C. Hunter and Commissioner Matthew S. Petersen issued a statement expressing their strong disagreement with the CREW v. FEC decision. The two commissioners also noted in a footnote to their statement that they “support the Commission making public the record of our efforts to conform with the court’s decision, along with the Office of General Counsel’s memorandum setting forth its recommendation whether to appeal.

As these two commissioners appear to recognize, the public would be best served by access to the full record of the FEC’s actions in response to the CREW v. FEC decision, as well as the appeal recommendation of the FEC’s general counsel. This information will help the public assess the FEC’s conduct and better evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of its legal positions. Given that AAN is a major dark money group that to date has refused to comply with its statutory obligations, information about the legality of its conduct and steps the FEC has or has not taken to compel AAN’s compliance with the law clearly are in the public interest.

Read the full FOIA here.

Click here to read more about the CREW v FEC case, and here to follow CREW v. AAN.