As a result of the failure by the Senate Intelligence Committee to restore the GAO’s authority to audit or review the CIA, by the next year that immunity had spread to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which had assumed some of the Agency’s responsibilities in coordinating the Intelligence Community. Like CIA, the ODNI cited a legally dubious position in a 1988 letter from the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel stating that the GAO had no authority to look at anything relating to “intelligence activities.” Also like CIA, the ODNI used a such a broad definition of intelligence activities so that “by definition” they were categorically exempt.
You don’t have to be a journalist to use FOIA - in fact, some of the best requests I’ve seen have come from former or current government employees. In this week’s roundup, a few requests from public officials that have potential to show wrongdoing as well as other examples of using public records for impact.
How you can use FOIA to dig into Trump’s business empire, environmental danger, and dubious site downtime
Every week, journalists, researchers, and every day people use public records laws and the Freedom of Information Act to shine light on important (or at least interesting) issues in the most unexpected places. Whether you’re just getting started with public records or are a seasoned document hunters, here’s ideas to help jumpstart your own requesting.
Since President Donald Trump took office, slow Freedom of Information Act processes have become even slower — although it is tough to determine what, if anything, that means.