The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said Friday that it would not release more than 100 documents of correspondence between agency employees and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Those documents contain details of discussions about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
DIA revealed the existence of the records in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted more than a year ago by BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold. The requests sought “[a]ll records of correspondence between the DIA and the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller” that mentioned or referenced Flynn in any way. In a two-page letter to Leopold dated Friday, the agency stated that it would be withholding all of the responsive documents, claiming they were exempt from public disclosure laws.
“A search of DIA’s systems of records located 112 records of correspondence responsive to the request above. Upon review, it has been determined that all of the substantive portions of all of these records must be withheld in full from disclosure pursuant to the FOIA,” the letter read.
DIA, one of the worst federal government agencies that routinely violates #FOIA and an agency I often sue, has 112 records related to it's correspondence with Mueller about Michael Flynn. They took nearly 2 years to tell me they're withholding all of it pic.twitter.com/9gUNI78ST4
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) October 31, 2020
The agency stated that the withheld portions did not have to be disclosed under “Exemptions 1, 3, 5, and 7” of the law.
“As you know, the criminal prosecution of Michael Flynn remains pending,” the agency wrote, highlighting Exemption 7A, which applies to information and records gathered by law enforcement that could reasonably be expected to interfere in enforcement proceedings.
BuzzFeed will have to file a legal challenge if it hopes to obtain any of the records from DIA. On Friday, though, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did release a new cache of interviews conducted by the Special Counsel’s Office during the investigation into Russian election interference. The documents were released in accordance with a court order stemming from another FOIA lawsuit filed by BuzzFeed and Leopold over excessive redactions to the publicly released version of the Mueller Report.
In a separate but related matter, a federal district court last month ordered the DOJ to release by Nov. 2 “at least 15 previously blacked-out pages from volume one” of the Mueller report which “appear to involve discussions related to the hack of emails from the Democratic National Committee in early 2016 and the Trump campaign’s interest in those documents when WikiLeaks released them that June.”
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan still has not ruled on DOJ’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn.
[image via House Judiciary Committee]
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