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After a month of phone calls, letters, emails, faxes, and failed FOIAs, we’ve reached the final two competitors in our annual match-up of federal Freedom of Information Act offices. We began with the same request - a broad, arguably “burdensome” call for all “talking points” emails since Election 2016 - sent to 64 different FOIA agencies, and today we’re left with two offices that have worked hard to clarify the request, limit the results, and get us a sample of the information we’re after.
The official record on the 2015 death of Mikhail Lesin deems the event an accident, the result of falling and suffering a number of “blunt force injuries” in his hotel room after a days-long alcohol binge. But while others have cast doubt on that account, attributing it to more nefarious external actors, materials released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation don’t contradict the accidental death determination.
Elsewhere in the world, Wildcats and Leprechauns left March as the Masters of Madness, but here at MuckRock, our FOIA-themed spin on the popular springtime showdown carries on to the Final Four, and what a four they are, folks. We’ve had many great competitors, and this round sees some more heartbreaking eliminations. Let’s take a look.
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|Winnie Mandela||No Responsive Documents||Federal Bureau of Investigation||United States of America|
|Stephen Hawking||Awaiting Response||Federal Bureau of Investigation||United States of America|
|FOIA March Madness 2018 - Agency Talking Points (November 8, 2016 - March 13, 2018) (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)||Awaiting Acknowledgement||Occupational Safety and Health Administration||United States of America|
|FOIA March Madness 2018 - Agency Talking Points (November 8, 2016 - March 13, 2018) (Internal Revenue Service)||Awaiting Acknowledgement||Internal Revenue Service||United States of America|
|FOIA March Madness 2018 - Agency Talking Points (November 8, 2016 - March 13, 2018) (Coast Guard)||Awaiting Acknowledgement||Coast Guard||United States of America|