National Mall-Facing Surveillance Footage for January 20, 2017

Nathan Lawrence filed this request with the Smithsonian Institution Office of General Counsel of the United States of America.
Tracking # 47736
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Nathan Lawrence

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any and all recorded, captured or logged camera footage or stills from between 6:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST on January 20, 2017 that fits the following descriptions:

1. South or Southeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
2. South, Southwest or Southeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
3. South or Southeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
4. North, Northwest or Northeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
5. North, Northwest or Northeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for Smithsonian Castle
6. North, Northwest or Northeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for the Hirshhorn Museum
7. North, Northwest or Northeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
8. North, Northwest or Northeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for the National Museum of the American Indian
9. North, Northwest or Northeast Facing Exterior Shots Used as Security, Protection or Documentation for the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building

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 other digital media if not. If this request must be fulfilled with physical media, please inform me so we can establish a clear and agreeable chain of custody to ensure against tampering.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter, which, like all your work, is of great national and international importance. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

With sincere thanks for your time and effort,

Nathan Lawrence

From: Smithsonian Records Requests

Mr. Lawrence,

Attached please find a letter acknowledging receipt of your recent request for Smithsonian records.

Sincerely,

Jessica Sanet
Assistant General Counsel

From: Smithsonian Records Requests

Mr. Lawrence,

At your earliest convenience, would you please call me at 202-633-5115 to discuss the processing of your request?

I look forward to speaking with you.

Sincerely,
Jessica

From: Nathan Lawrence

Hi Jessica,

Thank you again for your courtesy and effort in taking the time to follow up on this request. Just so we have a record of our conversation today, I thought it might be a good idea to follow up with a brief message. Here's what my notes indicate:

- We clarified that the Smithsonian's position as a trust instrumentality of the United States may exempt it from FOIA, however, the institution follows policies that closely mirror FOIA in accordance with its Directive 807.
- We discussed the broad nature of the request as it is currently written and the large burden of locating these cameras, then saving the files for later use. The large amount of time, along with volume of cameras, means that the footage requested may take hundreds of CD ROMs to transfer.
- Because of this, we agreed to explore narrowing this request substantially, perhaps to still frame captures from exactly 11:47 a.m. EST and only from cameras that have a view of the National Mall itself, not just the concrete in front of institution-run buildings.
- I provided my desk contact number in case we might need to communicate further on this. That number is 573-882-4710.

Let me know if any of this is unclear or doesn't match up with the conversation as you recall it. I really appreciate your patience and positivity, and I look forward to working with you on this matter further!

Thanks,

Nathan

From: Smithsonian Records Requests

Nathan,

It was nice to speak with you. Thank you for memorializing our conversation.

Sincerely,
Jessica

From: Nathan Lawrence

Hi Jessica,

I hope you're well. Thank you for your call yesterday - I'm eager to take a look at things.

Since the provenance of other video and photography of this particular event was previously called into question, let's send responsive materials through MuckRock so there's a clear and public chain of custody. That address, in case you need it again, is:

Nathan Lawrence
MuckRock
DEPT MR 32204
4114A Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02144

Thank you again for everything you've done,

Nathan Lawrence

From: Smithsonian Records Requests

Nathan,

Thank you for confirming.

Jess

From: Smithsonian Institution Office of General Counsel

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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