Cause of Action sent 20 FOIA requests to federal agencies regarding the White House’s review of FOIA and other document requests. Four federal agencies produced documents that were included in our report released for Sunshine Week 2014. We previously appealed a FOIA to USDA regarding the agency’s improper redactions under attorney-client communications. This appeal concerns the General Services Administration’s response to our FOIA request.

GSA’s production letter stated:

You will note information was redacted from these e-mail communications based on the fifth and sixth exemptions of  FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5) and (6). The redactions under the fifth exemption were made to protect attorney-client communications and deliberative process material.

In our appeal, we argue:

  1. The Deliberative Process Privilege Does Not Protect Communications Between GSA and the Office of White House Counsel.
  2. The Attorney-Client Privilege Does Not Protect Communications Between GSA and the Office of White House Counsel.
  3. Exemption 6 May Have Been Applied Too Broadly.


November 26, 2013 FOIA Request

January 9, 2014 Production Letter and Responsive Documents

Cause of Action FOIA Appeal to GSA re: White House Equities by CauseOfAction