Washington, DC—Following the FBI’s refusal to turn over communications between its agents and James Kallstrom, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Kallstrom, a former FBI assistant director-in-charge, claimed on Fox News and elsewhere that he had spoken to more than a dozen FBI agents about FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that no charges were appropriate as to Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email system and about details of the investigation into Clinton. Unauthorized disclosure of information about an FBI investigation would violate both the Privacy Act and the Hatch Act.
“The FBI’s refusal to confirm or deny the existence of any responsive records, despite the fact that Kallstrom has already publicly acknowledged his communications with agents, is inappropriate and unexplained,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “It is in the public interest to know if FBI agents violated federal law by communicating with Kallstrom about the investigation.”
CREW’s suit alleges that the DOJ and FBI violated the FOIA by failing to conduct a search for records and wrongfully withheld documents based on the false and unsupportable claim that it could not, and did not have to even acknowledge that responsive records exist.
“During Sunshine Week, it is important to remember that a free and open society demands a transparent government,” Bookbinder said. “That is why we are asking the court to order the government to turn over these records.”