EOUSA parallel construction policies and training materials

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Executive Office for United States Attorneys of the United States of America.
Tracking # DOJ-AP-2017-000958; 1347108-000, F-00020-17, 2017-00712
Due Oct. 23, 2014
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All memoranda, training materials and official policies regarding "parallel construction," the act of recreating an investigative trail to obscure the original methods used.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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,

Shawn Musgrave

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Executive Office for United States Attorneys

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

This request has not yet been acknowledged in any way. Please confirm receipt and provide a tracking number as soon as possible.

Thank you.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Director, Office of Information Policy
United States DOJ, Suite 11050
1425 New York Avenue
Washington, DC 20530-0001

March 24, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal of FOIA-2014-01377. In her response of March 11 (attached), Ms. Gerson rejected my request on the basis that it included "no location given to search," and apparently posed a "question presented as a FOIA request."

This is an incorrect interpretation of the requester's burden under FOIA. First, on its face I have requested particular documents. There is not a single interrogative in my request.

Second, I have reasonably described the circumstances that lead to the creation of the requested records. Under this standard, I both indicated particular categories of documents (memoranda, training materials and official polices, to be specific) and provided a particular subject (parallel construction). For training materials, in particular, this request is incredibly straightforward, and Ms. Gerson's response questionably reductive.

Other agencies, including DOJ components, have been able to comply with this request without such dubious blanket rejections. If there are issues as to the scope of the request, I would be happy to discuss that issue rather than continue with this appeal.

Best,

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: OIP-NoReply

From: OIP-NoReply

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

Per the attached, this request has been remanded back to EOUSA FOIA for search. Please confirm receipt.

Thank you.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.

From: Executive Office for United States Attorneys

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: McEachin, Landis (USAEO) [Contractor]

Your message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:

MUSGRAVE, SHAWN003.pdf

Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent sending or receiving certain types of file attachments. Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Office of Information Policy, United States Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, Suite 11050
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

January 2, 2015

To Whom It May Concern:

I hereby appeal the inappropriate rejection of FOIA FOIA-2015-00642, in which I requested: "All memoranda, training materials and official policies regarding "parallel construction," the act of recreating an investigative trail to obscure the original methods used."

I first submitted this request in February 2014, at which time it was assigned tracking number FOIA-2014-01377. In the attached rejection letter from March 2014, the EOUSA FOIA staff rejected my request on the dubious basis that it included "no location given to search," and posed a "question presented as a FOIA request."

I successfully appealed this determination on the basis that I reasonably described the circumstances that lead to the creation of the requested records. In May 2014, DOJ OIP remanded the request back to EOUSA (AP-2014-02390).

While the May 2014 remand memo specifically noted, "because the practice of parallel construction does not appear to be limited to any specific USAO, responsive records could be maintained in EOUSA's leadership offices" and that "neither a 'Glomar' 7E response nor a categorical 7E response would be appropriate," the EOUSA's attached rejection letter errantly cites a blanket 7E exemption as well as demands that I indicate a particular EOUSA office.

As I noted in my previous administrative appeal, other agencies, including DOJ components such as the DEA, have been able to comply with this request without such dubious blanket rejections.

As such, I respectfully request once again that this FOIA be remanded back to EOUSA for a good faith search and release of responsive documents.

Thank you,

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: OIP-NoReply

From: OIP-NoReply

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

Per the attached, this request has been remanded to EOUSA for a good faith search and provision of responsive documents. Please confirm receipt and provide an estimated date of completion.

Best,
Shawn Musgrave

From: Executive Office for United States Attorneys

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Executive Office for United States Attorneys

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Executive Office for United States Attorneys

A no responsive documents response.

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern -

I hereby once again appeal the attached FOIA request, which the Executive Office for United States Attorneys assigned tracking number FOIA-2014-02330.

Notably, this FOIA journey now takes me to my ***THIRD*** appeal of the EOUSA's utterly inadequate response for a single request.

In February 2014, I requested the following records from the EOUSA: "All memoranda, training materials and official policies regarding "parallel construction," the act of recreating an investigative trail to obscure the original methods used."

In March 2014, the EOUSA rejected my request via a blanket invocation of exemption b(7). In May 2014, the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy appropriately rejected the EOUSA's response and remanded my request back to EOUSA, noting specifically in its memorandum: "Because the practice of parallel construction does not appear to be limited to any specific USAO, responsive records could be maintained in EOUSA's leadership offices."

Upon remand, the EOUSA ignored the DOJ OIP's clear guidance to check EOUSA's leadership offices. In December 2014, FOIA staff for EOUSA attempted to characterize my original request as deficient. In September 2015, responding to my second appeal, the DOJ OIP once again rejected the EOUSA's reasoning. An attorney for DOJ OIP wrote: "After carefully considering your appeal, and as a result of discussions between EOUSA personnel and this Office, I am remanding your request for a search for responsive records."

It seems that such discussions between OIP and the EOUSA were fruitless.

Nearly a year and more than ten follow-ups after the second remand, the EOUSA now asserts that it has been unable to locate any documents responsive to my four-year-old request. In the attached letter dated October 25, 2016, Acting Assistant Director Thomas D. Anderson writes, "A search for records located in EOUSA-Acquisitions and within the United States Attorneys Manual has revealed no responsive records regarding the above subject."

As summarized in the EOUSA's rejection letter, it seems that the agency's FOIA staff both inadequately searched for responsive documents and in the wrong places.

It is unclear why the EOUSA searched its Acquisitions division. I am not seeking records related to acquisition, but documents about the law enforcement, investigation and prosecution tactic of "parallel construction," which I defined in my initial request in 2014. The EOUSA FOIA staff seems to have expended resources searching unrelated entities rather than ones identified by both myself and the OIP initial remand memorandum: EOUSA leadership offices that write memoranda and policy documents.

The second entity searched by the EOUSA is on-topic to my request: the US Attorneys Manual is certainly a reasonable place to search for references to a legal tactic like parallel construction. But it is hardly the sole place to search, particularly since I asked not only for policies as collated in the manual but also training materials and memoranda. Again, the OIP summarized the appropriate starting place for a search for responsive documents: EOUSA leadership offices.

It bears emphasizing that, as the OIP has seemingly discussed with the EOUSA, other Justice Department law enforcement components have provided materials concerning the practice of parallel construction. For law enforcement components to have such materials without EOUSA having their own corresponding memoranda and training materials would not only be a surprise but a concern for the administration of federal prosecutions wherein such this tactic may have been used by law enforcement entities.

The EOUSA's processing of this request is clearly insufficient to satisfy its obligation to conduct a good faith search. Much as it pains me, I assert now for the third time that this request has not been processed in such a manner that satisfies the spirit or letter of FOIA.

In light of the above, I ask that you remand this request to the Executive Office for United States Attorneys for a good faith search and provision of responsive documents.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

11/30/2016 02:49 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2017-000958

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

DOJ-AP-2017-000958 has been processed with the following final disposition: Completely reversed/remanded.

  • Musgrave, Shawn, AP-2017-000958 EOUSA.remand.additional.search.process

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:
Per the attached, this request has been remanded to EOUSA. Please confirm receipt, and provide an estimated completion date.
Respectfully, Shawn Musgrave

From: USAEO-FOIA Requests

From: requests@muckrock.com [mailto:requests@muckrock.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 5:02 AM
To: USAEO-FOIA Requests <USAEO.FOIA.Requests@usa.doj.gov>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #DOJ-AP-2017-000958; 1347108-000, F-00020-17, 2017-00712

March 15, 2017
Executive Office for United States Attorneys
Susan B. Gerson, Acting Assistant Director
FOIA/Privacy Unit
Executive Office for United States Attorneys
Department of Justice
Room 7300, 600 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530-0001

This is a follow up to request number DOJ-AP-2017-000958; 1347108-000, F-00020-17, 2017-00712:

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #DOJ-AP-2017-000958; 1347108-000, F-00020-17, 2017-00712.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

---

On Feb. 13, 2017:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #DOJ-AP-2017-000958; 1347108-000, F-00020-17, 2017-00712.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

---

On Jan. 13, 2017:
To Whom It May Concern:
Per the attached, this request has been remanded to EOUSA. Please confirm receipt, and provide an estimated completion date.
Respectfully, Shawn Musgrave
---

On Dec. 21, 2016:
DOJ-AP-2017-000958 has been processed with the following final disposition: Completely reversed/remanded.

---

On Nov. 30, 2016:
11/30/2016 02:49 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2017-000958
---

On Nov. 11, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern -

I hereby once again appeal the attached FOIA request, which the Executive Office for United States Attorneys assigned tracking number FOIA-2014-02330.

Notably, this FOIA journey now takes me to my ***THIRD*** appeal of the EOUSA's utterly inadequate response for a single request.

In February 2014, I requested the following records from the EOUSA: "All memoranda, training materials and official policies regarding "parallel construction," the act of recreating an investigative trail to obscure the original methods used."

In March 2014, the EOUSA rejected my request via a blanket invocation of exemption b(7). In May 2014, the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy appropriately rejected the EOUSA's response and remanded my request back to EOUSA, noting specifically in its memorandum: "Because the practice of parallel construction does not appear to be limited to any specific USAO, responsive records could be maintained in EOUSA's leadership offices."

Upon remand, the EOUSA ignored the DOJ OIP's clear guidance to check EOUSA's leadership offices. In December 2014, FOIA staff for EOUSA attempted to characterize my original request as deficient. In September 2015, responding to my second appeal, the DOJ OIP once again rejected the EOUSA's reasoning. An attorney for DOJ OIP wrote: "After carefully considering your appeal, and as a result of discussions between EOUSA personnel and this Office, I am remanding your request for a search for responsive records."

It seems that such discussions between OIP and the EOUSA were fruitless.

Nearly a year and more than ten follow-ups after the second remand, the EOUSA now asserts that it has been unable to locate any documents responsive to my four-year-old request. In the attached letter dated October 25, 2016, Acting Assistant Director Thomas D. Anderson writes, "A search for records located in EOUSA-Acquisitions and within the United States Attorneys Manual has revealed no responsive records regarding the above subject."

As summarized in the EOUSA's rejection letter, it seems that the agency's FOIA staff both inadequately searched for responsive documents and in the wrong places.

It is unclear why the EOUSA searched its Acquisitions division. I am not seeking records related to acquisition, but documents about the law enforcement, investigation and prosecution tactic of "parallel construction," which I defined in my initial request in 2014. The EOUSA FOIA staff seems to have expended resources searching unrelated entities rather than ones identified by both myself and the OIP initial remand memorandum: EOUSA leadership offices that write memoranda and policy documents.

The second entity searched by the EOUSA is on-topic to my request: the US Attorneys Manual is certainly a reasonable place to search for references to a legal tactic like parallel construction. But it is hardly the sole place to search, particularly since I asked not only for policies as collated in the manual but also training materials and memoranda. Again, the OIP summarized the appropriate starting place for a search for responsive documents: EOUSA leadership offices.

It bears emphasizing that, as the OIP has seemingly discussed with the EOUSA, other Justice Department law enforcement components have provided materials concerning the practice of parallel construction. For law enforcement components to have such materials without EOUSA having their own corresponding memoranda and training materials would not only be a surprise but a concern for the administration of federal prosecutions wherein such this tactic may have been used by law enforcement entities.

The EOUSA's processing of this request is clearly insufficient to satisfy its obligation to conduct a good faith search. Much as it pains me, I assert now for the third time that this request has not been processed in such a manner that satisfies the spirit or letter of FOIA.

In light of the above, I ask that you remand this request to the Executive Office for United States Attorneys for a good faith search and provision of responsive documents.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave
---

On Nov. 4, 2016:
A no responsive documents response.
---

On Oct. 12, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On Sept. 12, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On Aug. 12, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On July 13, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On June 13, 2016:
An interim response, stating the request is being processed.
---

On June 1, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On May 2, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On April 1, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On March 2, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On Feb. 1, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On Jan. 1, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On Dec. 2, 2015:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On Nov. 2, 2015:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330 ; FOIA-2015-00642 ; AP-2015-01562.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On Oct. 27, 2015:
An interim response, stating the request is being processed.
---

On Oct. 1, 2015:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-02330 ; FOIA-2015-00642 ; AP-2015-01562.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

On Sept. 1, 2015:
Hello -

Per the attached, this request has been remanded to EOUSA for a good faith search and provision of responsive documents. Please confirm receipt and provide an estimated date of completion.

Best,
Shawn Musgrave
---

On Sept. 1, 2015:

---

On Jan. 23, 2015:

---

On Jan. 2, 2015:
Office of Information Policy, United States Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, Suite 11050
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

January 2, 2015

To Whom It May Concern:

I hereby appeal the inappropriate rejection of FOIA FOIA-2015-00642, in which I requested: "All memoranda, training materials and official policies regarding "parallel construction," the act of recreating an investigative trail to obscure the original methods used."

I first submitted this request in February 2014, at which time it was assigned tracking number FOIA-2014-01377. In the attached rejection letter from March 2014, the EOUSA FOIA staff rejected my request on the dubious basis that it included "no location given to search," and posed a "question presented as a FOIA request."

I successfully appealed this determination on the basis that I reasonably described the circumstances that lead to the creation of the requested records. In May 2014, DOJ OIP remanded the request back to EOUSA (AP-2014-02390).

While the May 2014 remand memo specifically noted, "because the practice of parallel construction does not appear to be limited to any specific USAO, responsive records could be maintained in EOUSA's leadership offices" and that "neither a 'Glomar' 7E response nor a categorical 7E response would be appropriate," the EOUSA's attached rejection letter errantly cites a blanket 7E exemption as well as demands that I indicate a particular EOUSA office.

As I noted in my previous administrative appeal, other agencies, including DOJ components such as the DEA, have been able to comply with this request without such dubious blanket rejections.

As such, I respectfully request once again that this FOIA be remanded back to EOUSA for a good faith search and release of responsive documents.

Thank you,

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock
---

On Dec. 22, 2014:
Your message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:

MUSGRAVE, SHAWN003.pdf

Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent sending or receiving certain types of file attachments. Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.
---

On Dec. 22, 2014:
An interim response, stating the request is being processed.
---

On Dec. 19, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.
---

On Nov. 19, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.
---

On Oct. 20, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.
---

On Sept. 19, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.
---

On Aug. 20, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.
---

On July 21, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.
---

On June 20, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FOIA-2014-01377 ; AP-2014-02390.

Thank you for your help.
---

On May 21, 2014:
Hello,

Per the attached, this request has been remanded back to EOUSA FOIA for search. Please confirm receipt.

Thank you.
---

On May 21, 2014:

---

On April 11, 2014:

---

On March 24, 2014:
Director, Office of Information Policy
United States DOJ, Suite 11050
1425 New York Avenue
Washington, DC 20530-0001

March 24, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal of FOIA-2014-01377. In her response of March 11 (attached), Ms. Gerson rejected my request on the basis that it included "no location given to search," and apparently posed a "question presented as a FOIA request."

This is an incorrect interpretation of the requester's burden under FOIA. First, on its face I have requested particular documents. There is not a single interrogative in my request.

Second, I have reasonably described the circumstances that lead to the creation of the requested records. Under this standard, I both indicated particular categories of documents (memoranda, training materials and official polices, to be specific) and provided a particular subject (parallel construction). For training materials, in particular, this request is incredibly straightforward, and Ms. Gerson's response questionably reductive.

Other agencies, including DOJ components, have been able to comply with this request without such dubious blanket rejections. If there are issues as to the scope of the request, I would be happy to discuss that issue rather than continue with this appeal.

Best,

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock
---

On March 14, 2014:
Hello,

This request has not yet been acknowledged in any way. Please confirm receipt and provide a tracking number as soon as possible.

Thank you.
---

On March 12, 2014:
The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.
---

On March 7, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.
---

On Feb. 5, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:

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

All memoranda, training materials and official policies regarding "parallel construction," the act of recreating an investigative trail to obscure the original methods used.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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,

Shawn Musgrave

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Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock
DEPT MR 10407
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
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