Electoral College Treasury

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of Treasury of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 2016-12-077, 2017-02-232
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Materials relating to or discussing the Electoral College, members of the Electoral College, or "faithless electors," as well as materials relating to the briefing request from Electoral College members. According to the letter sent by the Electoral College "Trump’s willingness to disregard conclusions made by the intelligence community and his continuing defense of Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin demand close scrutiny and deliberation from the Electoral College. The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations. We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States." This has been widely discussed by the media. See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/electoral-college-intelligence-briefing-russia-election_us_584ee466e4b0e05aded4da1b?

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open publishing arrangement with all three outlets. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. The requested documents will be made freely available to the general public through the non-profit Internet Archive, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Michael Best

From:

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury has received the information you submitted to the TREASFOIA@TREASURY.gov<mailto:TREASFOIA@TREASURY.gov> mailbox.

If you are submitting a FOIA request, this courtesy reply does not replace the acknowledgement letter which will include a FOIA case number once your request has been entered into our FOIA Request Tracking System.

If you are seeking the status of a pending FOIA request for which you have a FOIA case number, please call (202) 622-0930 to obtain the status of your request.

Please visit our FOIA Library at http://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Pages/reading_room.aspx.

Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

From:

Good Morning,
Please see the Department of the Treasury's receipt letter pertaining to your recently submitted FOIA request. Please refer to the information provided in the receipt letter when inquiring about your FOIA request.

Respectfully,

Katelyn DeLucca
Government Information Specialist
Privacy, Transparancy, Records
Department of the Treasury
Email: TreasFOIA@treasury.gov<mailto:TreasFOIA@treasury.gov>

From: Michael Best

Please note that your description of my FOIA request does not match what I actually requested, reducing a paragraph of specifics to "electoral college." Can you please confirm that you will search for ALL materials I requested and not arbitrarily limit it in scope?

From:

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury has received the information you submitted to the TREASFOIA@TREASURY.gov<mailto:TREASFOIA@TREASURY.gov> mailbox.

If you are submitting a FOIA request, this courtesy reply does not replace the acknowledgement letter which will include a FOIA case number once your request has been entered into our FOIA Request Tracking System.

If you are seeking the status of a pending FOIA request for which you have a FOIA case number, please call (202) 622-0930 to obtain the status of your request.

Please visit our FOIA Library at http://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Pages/reading_room.aspx.

Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

From:

Good afternoon Mr. Best,

I will add this email to your request for the Analyst to review.

Sincerely,

Michelle Henshaw
FOIA Case Manager, FOIA and Transparency
Privacy, Transparency, and Records
U.S. Department of the Treasury
michelle.henshaw@treasury.gov<mailto:michelle.henshaw@treasury.gov>
(202) 622-0875

From: Department of Treasury

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: Michael Best

I am appealing the determination that the request as improper. I did not request research to be conducted, ask questions, or for legal opinions. Further, I asked for information relating to intelligence operations and activities, which is proper as the Treasury department is one of the 17 intelligence agencies. Further, EVERY other agency who received an identical request to this properly determined that it was a legitimate request.

From:

Good morning,

Attached is Treasury's acknowledgment letter pertaining to your recently submitted FOIA request. Please refer to the information provided in the acknowledgement letter when inquiring about your FOIA request.

Thank you,

Cawana

From:

Good morning,

FOIA request 2016-12-077 is closed. According to our database a final response was sent to you. Regina Okusaya is the Case Manager assigned this case and I’m including her on this mail to follow up with you. With regards to 2017-02-232, the case is still being processed within our office. You may go the link below, look under “Treasury DO Multi_tracks and Queues” under “simple Track” to find out where your request falls in the queue for processing requests.

https://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Pages/reports_index2.aspx

From:

Good Afternoon,

I am reopening your case so a search can be done in our offices. Before we can search we would need an amount you are willing to pay for fees. We can only proceed once you respond once this is received.

Thank You,

Regina F. Okusanya
FOIA Analyst, FOIA and Transparency
Privacy, Transparency, and Records
U.S. Department of the Treasury
regina.okusanya@treasury.gov<mailto:regina.okusanya@treasury.gov>

From: Michael Best

As a member of the press, you are not permitted to charge me for search or duplication fees at all.

As for the remainder, I request a fee waiver.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.

From: Michael Best

Further, since you failed to fulfill the request within the required time and I'm a member of the press, statute prohibits you from charging me duplication fees regardless unless there are over 5,000 pages.

From:

We will then proceed with a search and respond to you once this is completed. This is only pertaining to your request ending in 077. The other request is being handled by another case manager.

Thank You,

Regina F. Okusanya
FOIA Analyst, FOIA and Transparency
Privacy, Transparency, and Records
U.S. Department of the Treasury
regina.okusanya@treasury.gov<mailto:regina.okusanya@treasury.gov>

From: Michael Best

Thanks so much! I've disabled automatic follow-ups so as to remove any unnecessary burden on your office while the request is processed.

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