Power Wars Blog by Charlie Savage

Two FOIA lawsuits: Trump-OLC communications & post-Snowden NSA security shortcomings

Yesterday, the NYT and I filed a new Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking communications in January 2017 between the Trump team (transition team, then post-inaugural White House) and the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel about the legality of proposed executive orders and executive actions, including its blessing of the first travel ban order and its Jan. 20, 2017 memo saying it would not violate the federal anti-nepotism law to give Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a White House job. The case was assigned to Judge Castel in SDNY.

Last month, we filed a FOIA lawsuit seeking the August 29, 2016, Department of Defense Inspector General report “The National Security Agency Should Take Additional Steps in Its Privileged Access-Related Secure the Net Initiatives,” which apparently details various security shortcomings at the NSA identified after the Edward Snowden leaks that the agency has been slow to fix. It was discussed in the September 2016 House Intelligence Committee report about Snowden. (H/T to Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel, who flagged it to me as something potentially worth FOIAing for.) The case was assigned to Judge Preska in SDNY.

Here is a page on which I track my FOIA litigation with the New York Times’ lawyer David McCraw and our annual First Amendment Fellow, currently Ian MacDougall. We have seven open lawsuits.