Democratic Senators Seek Records about “Sensitive Review” from VA, Ask Inspector General to Open Investigation into FOIA Politicization

Last week, a group of eight Democratic Senators, led by Ranking Member Jon Tester of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, wrote to the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to express concern over the possible politicization of the agency’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) processes.  The senators requested various […]

Department of the Army Refuses to Search Its Servers for Email Records

In May 2016, Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) sued the Department of the Army after it refused to produce records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) concerning the use of teleconference technology at the White House.  CoA Institute’s FOIA request, which was filed in June 2015, followed the […]

Department of Labor Denies FOIA Appeal After Nearly Four Years, and Unilaterally Narrows the Scope of the Request, Despite OGIS Intervention

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently denied CoA Institute’s long-pending Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) appeal concerning records of consultations between DOL and the Office of the White House Counsel (“OWHC”) on any documents containing “White House equities.”  CoA Institute filed its request on November 26, 2013 and its appeal […]

Federal District Court Excuses IRS’s Refusal to Search for Email Records Concerning White House Interference with the FOIA

Last week, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order denying Cause of Action Institute’s (“CoA Institute”) cross-motion for summary judgment in a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) brought against the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).  The opinion was long awaited—summary judgment briefing […]

Is President Trump Directing Agencies To Ignore Democrats’ Oversight Requests?

The transparency community was abuzz last week when Politico reported that the White House was directing federal agencies to ignore oversight requests from Democratic legislators. According to unnamed “Republican sources,” a White House lawyer “told agencies not to cooperate” with record requests from the minority. Politico described this as “amount[ing] […]

The next front in the FOIA War: Congress blocking disclosure of its dealings with the Executive Branch

By Ryan Mulvey, Opinion Contributor Presidential interference with public access to politically sensitive agency records has been an ongoing fight that seems unlikely to end anytime soon, and now it appears Congress has decided to get into the game.  My organization, Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”), has long been at the […]

A Low Bar for White House Transparency – But Concerns Rising

Citing “national security risks and privacy concerns,” the White House recently announced that it would no longer disclose the contents of its visitor logs to the public, contrary to a policy introduced and maintained (albeit, inconsistently) by the Obama Administration.  According to The New York Times, White House press secretary Sean […]