CREW sued the Department of Justice on July 30, 2018 for the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility’s (OPR) failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking communications concerning the now-closed investigation of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Since then, CREW has received several hundred pages of documents from the DOJ that shed light on McCabe’s termination, and conducted in depth analysis of the returns released in October 2019, and January 2020. The lawsuit is ongoing, and is expected to turn up more records. Read the documents here.
On the evening of March 16, 2018, less than two days before then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was to retire from public service, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced publicly that he fired McCabe. To justify the firing, Attorney General Sessions cited investigations by both the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General and the FBI’s OPR. The investigations reportedly found that McCabe made an unauthorized disclosure to the media and displayed lack of candor on multiple occasions, including under oath.
According to public reports, OPR recommended that McCabe be fired. His firing triggered widespread speculation that the Attorney General Sessions’ decision to fire McCabe was a political one made at the urging of President Trump.
CREW sent a FOIA request to the FBI on March 19, 2018 to shed light on the underlying reason for McCabe’s termination to allow the public to assess the credibility of allegations of political motivation and the role that President Trump played in the Attorney General’s decision.
The FBI stated by letter on April 18, 2018, that records responsive to CREW’s request would be made available in the FBI’s FOIA Library on the FBI website, and would notify CREW when releases were available. CREW has received no other communications from the FBI since, nor has the FBI posted documents responsive to CREW’s FOIA request.
In January 2019, CREW asked the court to unseal portions of three hearings in the case during which a DOJ official made ex parte representations to the court about the status of an ongoing law enforcement investigation of McCabe.
- Complaint - July 30, 2018
- Defendant's Answer - Sept. 6, 2018
- Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgement & Exhibits - Mar. 21, 2019
- Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgement & Exhibits - Apr. 12, 19
- Reply Brief in Support of Defendants Motion for Partial Summary Judgement - May 2, 2019
- Notice of Withdrawl of Exemption 7(A) and Motion to Excuse U.S. Attorney's Office Official - Nov. 13, 2019
- Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Excuse U.S. Attorney's Office Official - Nov. 13, 2019
- Plaintiff's Motion to Unseal Transcripts and Supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities - Nov. 26, 2019
- Defendant's Partial Opposition to Motion to Unseal Transcripts - Dec. 10, 2019
- Plaintiff's Motion to Prioritize Processing of Documents - Dec. 16, 2019
- Reply in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Unseal Transcripts - Dec. 16, 2019
- Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion on Processing Order - Dec. 20, 2019
- Plaintiff's Reply in Support of It's Motion to Prioritize Processing of Documents - Jan. 3, 2020
- Order - Jan. 30, 2020