This week’s FOIA round-up: Tax returns reveals Trump’s inherited fortune, dash video informs Chicago cop’s murder trial, and Pennsylvania withholds decade-old report investigating sexual abuse
In this week’s FOIA round-up, tax records show “self-made billionaire” President Donald Trump received hundreds of millions of dollars from his father, the video of Laquan McDonald’s death at the hands of a Chicago cop - released by a public records lawsuit - is central to the officer’s murder trial, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General who’s pushing the Catholic Church to be more transparent about child sexual abuse won’t release a decade-old report investigating allegations of sexual assault against a former state college administrator.
Matt Topic, a Chicago-based FOIA attorney, has taken on some of the biggest public records paces of the past few years, managing to win important precedent after precedent. He shares what he looks for when considering litigation, why public records matter, and how he accidentally fell into transparency law in the first place.
Brandon Smith is a Chicago journalist whose work recently caught the nation’s attention after he persevered in getting police video of the Laquan McDonald shooting released, leading to one officer being charged and the chief of police being fired. In this week’s Requester’s Voice, Smith talks about how public records gives him a leg up as an independent reporter chasing big stories.