Tom Fitton, the President of Judicial Watch, a citizen watchdog group who files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against State and Federal branches of the government, reported this week that they have a new focus for their work- they have filed against the Department of Justice for “records of communication between Special Counsel John Durham and Attorney General Merrick Garland.”
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“Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records of communication between Special Counsel John Durham and Attorney General Merrick Garland (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:22-cv-00734)),” Fitton wrote in a statement.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
According to a press release from the group, the lawsuit was filed after the DOJ failed to respond to an August 23, 2021, FOIA request.
Judicial Watch is requesting the following from the DOJ:
1. All records of communication, including emails and text messages, between Special Counsel John Durham and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
2. All budget records related to the operations of the office of Special Counsel John Durham.
Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley raised concerns last year about whether the Justice Department was in potential conflict with the Durham investigation because a senior Justice official, Susan Hennessey, had previously made statements attacking the Durham Investigation. The senators said, in December 2021, that Hennessey “expressed a clear partisan bias against the Special Counsel’s investigation,” referring to one of her tweets: “Durham has made abundantly clear that in a year and a half, he hasn’t come up with anything. I guess this kind of partisan silliness has become characteristic of Barr’s legacy, but unclear to me why Durham would want to go along with it.”
Durham’s investigation began in May 2019, and he was officially designated as Special Counsel in October 2020.
At that time Trump wrote:
“Following consultation with Mr. Durham, I have determined that, in light of the extraordinary circumstances relating to these matters, the public interest warrants Mr. Durham continuing this investigation pursuant to the powers and independence afforded by the Special Counsel regulations.
Accordingly, by virtue of the authority vested in the Attorney General, including 28 U.S.C. §§ 509,5 10, and 515, in order to discharge my responsibility to provide supervision and management of the Department of justice, and to ensure a full and thorough investigation of these matters, I hereby order as follows:
(a) John Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, is appointed to serve as Special Counsel for the Department of Justice.
(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to investigate whether any federal official, employee or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, Ill.
(c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from his investigation of these matters.
(d) 28 C.F.R. §§ 600.4 to 600.l Oare applicable to the Special Counsel.
(e) Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(b), I have determined that the notification requirement in 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(a)(l) should be tolled until at least after the November 3, 2020 election because legitimate investigative and privacy concerns warrant confidentiality.
(f) In addition to the confidential report required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c), the Special Counsel, to the maximum extent possible and consistent with the law and the policies and practices of the Department of justice, shall submit to the Attorney General a final report, and such interim reports as he deems appropriate, in a form that will permit public dissemination.
“It shouldn’t take a federal lawsuit to get answers to simple requests for information about Garland’s communications with Durham and basic budget documents about the Durham Special Counsel operation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton
The U.S. Department of Justice suggested that when Durham finishes his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, his report will likely be made public.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Joe Gaeta sent a letter back saying that he could not comment on Durham’s ongoing investigation or its status.
And there is even more.
The GOP Senators stated in their letter that back in October 2020, then-Attorney General Bill Barr wrote that: “The Special Counsel, to the maximum extent possible and consistent with the law and policies and practices of the Department of Justice, shall submit to the Attorney General a final report, and such interim reports as he deems appropriate, in a form that will permit public dissemination.”
In his response letter, Gaeta wrote, “The Department agrees with this statement.”
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There has been a renewed interest in Durham’s investigation the last few weeks as new details are emerging which the US mainstream media is misdirection and covering up, and -yet-which are not making Democrats happy at all.
Earlier in March, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that he expects Durham to release a “damaging report” on the FBI’s failed investigation into Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.
Nunes said he thinks prison sentences could fall on a number of former senior Obama officials.
“Nunes is one of the few members of the Republican Party that still believe justice will be served. He laid out his reasons on The Sara Carter Show and said he hasn’t given up faith in Durham’s investigation despite the enormous speculation that the Durham investigation will fail to deliver justice,” wrote Carter.