FOIA roundup: Trump’s tweet may trigger declassification and more from FOIA

FOIA roundup: Trump’s tweet may trigger declassification and more from FOIA

MuckRock’s weekly roundup of triumphs and troubles in public records

Written by
Edited by Michael Morisy

In this week’s FOIA Roundup, we feature a new book about America’s disposal of nerve agents in the Pacific Ocean and take a look at the limits of Trump’s tweets to affect declassification. See something we missed? Let us know.

Found through FOIA

The United States military has dumped tons of nerve agents and radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean and continues to be a threat to the environment and human life in the Pacific and its islands. Read more from Rachel Ramirez in The Guardian.

Threats and Triumphs for Transparency

Despite tweets he made earlier this month, President Trump has not made any actual directives that would require the Department of Justice to make the release, lawyers for the federal government argued this week in an ongoing FOIA suit for Mueller report records brought by Buzzfeed. According to the outlet, “documents at issue included an unredacted copy of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, unredacted copies of FBI interview summaries of witnesses who spoke to Mueller’s investigators, and thousands of other records that BuzzFeed News sued the government for last year.” The judge has now ordered that the government consult President Trump about what he meant when he issued the tweets. Read more from Jason Leopold in BuzzFeed News.

The public will need to wait a bit longer to learn whether police disciplinary records on Officer Brian Pommer will be released in Schenectady. Last week, a judge granted the Schenectady Police Benevolent Association time to respond to a motion to join the case from the New York Civil Liberties Union. Read more from Paul Nelson in The Time Union.

Resources for Requesters

The FOIA Project posts regular updates on lawsuits and legal filings on cases about the Freedom of Information Act. The most recent assortment of materials involve nonresponses from the Army, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Forest Service, and other federal agencies.

The National Freedom of Information Coalition is looking for an Outreach Coordinator to assist its 38 member organizations nationwide to improve their impact and expand collaboration efforts. Read more from NFOIC.

Have FOIA news, challenges, or successes that should be on our radar? Let us know!