Guccifer400

Emma Best filed this request with the United States Secret Service of the United States of America.
Tracking # 20172034
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Emma Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records relating to an extortion attempt against Jared Kushner by "Guccifer400", as disclosed by Jared Kushner:

"On October 30, 2016, I received a random email from the screenname "Guccifer400." This email, which I interpreted as a hoax, was an extortion attempt and threatened to reveal candidate Trump's tax returns and demanded that we send him 52 bitcoins in exchange for not publishing that information. I brought the email to the attention of a U.S. Secret Service agent on the plane we were all travelling on and asked what he thought. He advised me to ignore it and not to reply -- which is what I did. The sender never contacted me again."

As Kushner has revealed this himself, the request cannot be flatly denied because of a "reasonable expectation of privacy."

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I am freelance writer who has previously written about the government and its activities for MuckRock, Motherboard, Unicorn Riot, AND Magazine and Glomar Disclosure. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. My work has been further discussed in outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and BBC. 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. Per DOJ FOIA guidance, "a requester should be granted a fee waiver if the requested information (1) sheds light on the activities and operations of the government; (2) is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of those operations and activities; and (3) is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." As this FOIA meets all of those requirements (see above regarding the subject and how I will apply the information), a fee waiver is warranted.

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,

Emma Best

  • Jared20Kushners20statement20on20Russia_20full20text20-20CNNPolitics.pdf

From: United States Secret Service

Dear Requester,

Please see the attached letter regarding the status of your FOIA/PA request. If you have any questions in regard to this matter, please contact this office at (202) 406-6370.

Thank you,

Freedom of Information Act & Privacy Act Program

United States Secret Service

245 Murray Lane, SW, Building T-5

Washington, DC 20223

Phone: (202) 406-6370

Fax: (2020 406-5586

Email: FOIA@USSS.DHS.GOV

All e-mail to/from this account is subject to official review and is for official use only. Action may be taken in response to any inappropriate use of the Secret Service's e-mail system. This e-mail may contain information that is privileged, law enforcement sensitive, or subject to other disclosure limitations. Such information is loaned to you and should not be further disseminated without the permission of the Secret Service. If you have received this e-mail in error, do not keep, use, disclose, or copy it; notify the sender immediately and delete it.

From: United States Secret Service

Dear Requester,

Please see the attached letter regarding the status of your FOIA/PA request. If you have any questions in regard to this matter, please contact this office at (202) 406-6370.

Thank you,

Freedom of Information Act & Privacy Act Program

United States Secret Service

245 Murray Lane, SW, Building T-5

Washington, DC 20223

Phone: (202) 406-6370

Fax: (2020 406-5586

Email: FOIA@USSS.DHS.GOV

All e-mail to/from this account is subject to official review and is for official use only. Action may be taken in response to any inappropriate use of the Secret Service's e-mail system. This e-mail may contain information that is privileged, law enforcement sensitive, or subject to other disclosure limitations. Such information is loaned to you and should not be further disseminated without the permission of the Secret Service. If you have received this e-mail in error, do not keep, use, disclose, or copy it; notify the sender immediately and delete it.

From: Emma Best

I am appealing the integrity of the search, including but not limited to the agency's determination that "a review of Secret Service main indices" is "a reasonable search for responsive records." The Agency is required to perform a search reasonably calculated to locate any such records, including contacting the appropriate employees such as those detailed to Mr. Kushner in the appropriate time period.

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