On January 3, 2018, CREW filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202, challenging the failure of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to respond to its request for expedition of its FOIA request seeking communications concerning DOJ’s decision to invite reporters to DOJ on December 12, 2017, to share with them private text messages from two former FBI investigators on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that are part of an ongoing investigation by DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General.
This case seeks declaratory relief that DOJ is in violation of the FOIA for failing to respond to CREW’s request for expedition and for injunctive relief ordering defendant DOJ to grant the expedition request and to process and release to CREW immediately the requested records in their entirety.
The public has a clear and pressing interest in learning whether the leak was properly authorized and the extent to which the interests of the texts’ authors, the inspector general, and DOJ’s interests in the orderly administration of justice were appropriately considered and protected. Only through the full disclosure of the facts and circumstances surrounding this decision can the public have confidence in the actions and integrity of the Justice Department.