FOIA Update
May 24, 2024

WASHINGTON – Empower Oversight is renewing its request for records related to the Criminal Justice Information Services’ Assistant Director Michael Christman who is the subject of multiple complaints by current and former employees.

The agency denied Empower Oversight’s original request, citing a Glomar defense, meaning that the agency neither confirms nor denies the existence of such records.

In its response, Empower Oversight president, Tristan Leavitt, wrote, “In sum, the FBI’s reasoning for denying these Request Items fails…because these records are either purely administrative in nature or were compiled for internal investigations or employee monitoring. Meanwhile, the public interest in disclosure of all Items outweighs any privacy interest. First, the privacy interest in the non-investigative administrative records is de minimis as they only document his employment at CJIS, including his presence at CJIS’ buildings, and how Christman was allowed to remain employed after the mandatory retirement age for FBI agents. Meanwhile, for all Items, ample evidence of serious government misconduct exists that warrants disclosure.”

The allegations of misconduct are substantial and as Leavitt writes in Empower Oversight’s appeal, Christman was a high-ranking FBI official and, “Thus, the records inherently reflect on the FBI’s and DOJ’s activities, not his as a private citizen. The public has an interest in knowing how the (OIG/FBI) addressed misconduct allegations against a high-ranking official.”

For the original request, click here.

For the appeal regarding the Office of Inspector General Glomar defense click here.

For the appeal regarding the FBI Glomar defense click here.