Makan Delrahim communications

Alexander Rony filed this request with the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division of the United States of America .
Tracking #

ATFY17-083

Est. Completion None
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: Alexander Rony

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request records of communication (emails, meeting agendas, and letters) between Antitrust Division staff and Makan Delrahim of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (including the email address mdelrahim@bhfs.com). Please limit this search from August 2005 through December 2016 and exclude Operations and Policy staff.

I respectfully request that you waive all fees in connection with this request as provided by 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The Sierra Club is a national environmental nonprofit with no commercial interest in obtaining the request information. Instead, our organization intends to analyze and disseminate the requested information free of charge so that the public can be better informed and meaningfully participate in the debate over corporate consolidation and the way it can affect the environment.

The subject matter of the requested records is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government by disclosing interactions that the nominee for assistant attorney general has had with the division he may head. The information would further demonstrate potential conflicts of interest around cases in which Mr. Delrahim would likely need to recuse himself. Lastly, it will show how the Antitrust Division works with outside stakeholders representing companies when investigating potential antitrust matters.

The Sierra Club and its supporters have demonstrated interest and expertise in the subject area, especially regarding corporate mergers that impact the agricultural, mining, telecommunications, and oil and gas industries. Our supporters have sent tens of thousands of letters to the Justice Department and European Commission related to these issues.

The Sierra Club also has the ability and intention to disseminate the information it receives through this request. The information may be shared through emails to an audience of hundreds of thousands of people, Facebook and Twitter posts reaching thousands of individuals, articles on our website, and analysis provided to the media.

Here are three examples of my work to demonstrate my media-related interest in this request:

https://sierraclub.org/planet/2017/04/hiring-freeze-prevented-epa-filling-hundreds-jobs
http://www.sierraclub.org/compass/2016/10/members-distance-themselves-alecs-climate-policies
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4480/over-700000-people-tell-government-to-block-seed-mergers

In the event that there are fees, please 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,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: Gavin, Jacqueline

See attachment.

From: Alexander Rony

Regarding my FOIA request (ATFY17-083), your acknowledgment letter stated, "If your interest is in communications between Division staff and third parties concerning a specific Division matter, please identify the investigation or case of interest to you so we can search the official file for potentially responsive documents." I am interested in the following companies: Access Industries, AT&T, Bayer, Cadiz Inc., ChemChina, Comcast, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Monsanto, Syngenta, and West Valley Water District. Would specifying those companies sufficiently narrow down the scope of this request?

Regards,
Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

MuckRock,

Your request is currently pending with approximately 30 requests received prior to your request. Although we cannot provide an exact completion date, we estimate that it could take an additional nine months to begin the processing of your request. We apologize for the delay.

Thank you for your patience!

Wayne Foster

From: Alexander Rony

Thank you, Mr. Foster, for your estimate. Can you confirm if my clarification in September 2017 (specifying several companies) sufficiently narrowed the search parameters?

Regards,
Alexander Rony

From: Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Hi Alexander,

You originally requested “records of communications (emails, meeting agendas, and letters) between Antitrust Division staff and Makan Delrahim of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (including the email address mdelrahim@bhfs.com)<mailto:mdelrahim@bhfs.com)>.... from August 2005 through December 2016 and exclude Operations and Policy staff.” By email you limited your request to Access Industries, Bayer, and Cadiz, Inc.

Please note that the Antitrust Division does not maintain an index of all incoming or outgoing communications between Division staff or outside entities or individuals. An official file for a Division matter is created when a matter is opened. Substantive emails and correspondence related to investigations or cases are placed in the official file maintained for each matter. We, accordingly, identify official files by searching a tracking system for a specific file number or subject name. Thus, to further narrow your request and reduce the processing, subsequent processing, and our response time, you may wish to shorten the time span and/or identify specific ATR matters that are of interest to you.

If you have any questions concerning this email or how to formulate your request please feel free to contact me.

Thank you!

Wayne

From: Alexander Rony

How many official files do you maintain for those companies? Assuming there aren't too many to search through, I want to keep the scope as is. I am happy to discuss more if your office recommends an easier way to streamline your search and processing time.

From: Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Dear MuckRock:

Your request is currently pending. Due to the number of requests received prior to this request and are in the processing cue we estimate it could be approximately eight months before we can begin the initial processing of your request. We apologize for the delay in processing your request.

Sincerely,

Wayne Foster

From: Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Dear MuckRock,

Your request is currently pending at this time and there are approximately 27 FOIA requests pending and received prior to yours. I apologize in the delay in processing your request.

Sincerely,

Wayne

From: Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Dear Muckrock,

Your request is still pending at this time and there are approximately 23 FOIA requests pending and received prior to yours. I apologize in the delay in processing your request.
Wayne Foster
FOIA Public Liaison

From: Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Dear MuckRock,

Your request is currently pending. We attempt to process on a multi-track first in basis. There are approximately 11 requests received prior to your request.

Thank you for your patience!

Wayne Foster
FOIA Public Liaison

From: Alexander Rony

Dear Mr. Foster,

You may withdraw my Freedom of Information Act Request #ATFY17-083, originally from April 2017.

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Thank you. Have a nice day!

From: Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Hi Alexander Rony,

This confirms that we closed your FOIA request (ATFY17-083), pursuant to your March 14, 2021 email below. Thank you.

Wayne Foster

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