Following a FOIA appeal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released ten new pages of their investigation into links between the PROMIS scandal, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, and the mysterious death of Danny Casolaro. FOIA lawyers and experts are divided as to whether this new release implies the Bureau previously improperly cited the “open investigation” exemption, or whether it had stopped being applicable between the initial FOIA response and the appeal.
The official version of events surrounding Danny Casolaro’s death has been questioned since the beginning, but several recent revelations resulting from the release of government documents have undermined it. While there are still questions about Casolaro’s death, there are over a dozen reasons to doubt the official conclusions.
As part of the investigation into the death of journalist Danny Casolaro, the local police created a videotaped “reenactment” of his alleged suicide. The tape was used later to help an expert conclude the death was a suicide, and then seized along with the other evidence by the federal government. In response to a FOIA request for a copy of the tape, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has declared that it’s exempt from release - but won’t say why.
According to the Department of Justice, not only is some material on the PROMIS affair being withheld to protect wiretap information, the FBI’s material is also being withheld to protect the Intelligence Community’s sources and methods, except where it was lost or destroyed as so often happens with files relating to the PROMIS scandal. In addition, the DOJ also positively affirmed that as of earlier this year, the FBI had an open investigation relating to PROMIS while hinting that part of it remains “pending” even now.
Over two decades after Danny Casolaro died while investigating the PROMIS affair, a recent FOIA response from the National Archives confirms that it truly is “the scandal that wouldn’t die.” Where a previous release saw only 4% of the total redacted and nothing withheld in full, this release sees 23% of the pages redacted or withheld in full. The letter from the Archives’ suggests that the difference is due to the presence of wiretap information in the Casolaro investigation, a fact which has been previously undisclosed by the government.