Last year, Emma Best filed a FOIA with the FBI for all records on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Within a couple months, the Bureau responded by claiming they couldn’t find anything.
Emma appealed, citing the FBI’s public statements - and just this week, the Justice Department confirmed there while there were records, they couldn’t be released on grounds there is an ongoing investigation.
As Emma wrote about earlier regarding FBI files on Steven Mnuchin, requirements for the exemption are quite clear. The DOJ guide to [Exemption 7(A) states that:
It is beyond question that Exemption 7(A) is temporal in nature and is not intended to “endlessly protect material simply because it [is] in an investigatory file.” Thus, as a general rule, Exemption 7(A) may be invoked so long as the law enforcement proceeding involved remains pending or so long as an enforcement proceeding is fairly regarded as prospective or as preventative.
“Comey talked about the investigation a little bit in his testimony, but was former FBI at the time” Emma said over MuckRock’s Slack. “This is at least a firm, official disclosure from DOJ and it confirms it’s ongoing, not something that was quickly wrapped up.”
Read the FBI’s full rejection embedded below, or on the request page.
Like Emma Best’s work? Support her on Patreon.