Transmitted: December 7, 2021
To: Georgianna Gilbeaux & Valeree Villanueva, United States Department of Justice
Full Letter: Department of Justice FOIA Status Request (PDF)
Re: Status of FOIA Requests FOIA-2021-01701 and FOIA-2021-02003
Empower Oversight filed an inquiry with the Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting an update to a July 12, 2021 FOIA request probing potential conflicts of interest in hiring Susan Hennessey, who in advance of the Senate’s review of her appointment deleted thousands of tweets, including many criticizing Special Counsel John Durham.
The DOJ has failed to notify Empower Oversight about the volume of the documents that are responsive to the FOIA requests and has also failed to provide any timeline on when the DOJ will produce any responsive and non-exempt records.
In July, Empower Oversight submitted a detailed FOIA request related to the DOJ’s hiring of Ms. Hennessey. Her ability to appear objective and impartial in any official duties related to the Durham probe were called into question by her prejudicial comments on Twitter. It is in the public’s interest to find out how much the DOJ knew about Hennessey’s questionable behavior before she was officially hired and what steps, if any, have been taken to ensure that she is recused from participating in any matters related the Durham probe.
If you have first-hand information you’d like to disclose to assist Empower Oversight with these inquiries, please contact us confidentially here.