FOIA Update
April 26, 2024

WASHINGTON – Empower Oversight is pushing back on the Department of Justice’s categorical denial of an Empower Freedom of Information Act request relating to the protected disclosures made by FBI whistleblower Marcus Allen.

On Feb. 12, 2024, Empower Oversight placed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Justice Department for records about Allen’s request for permission to engage in outside employment, as well as records related to the requirement to receive FBI approval for outside employment when on unpaid leave.

The Justice Department denied the whistleblower organization’s request saying the request was “overly broad” and “does not provide enough detail…” However, the FBI made no effort to clarify any portion of the request, as would be appropriate protocol for the agency.

Empower Oversight president, Tristan Leavitt wrote in his response, “If it (the FBI) felt that it could not reasonably and precisely identify the records, there is no reason why it could not have asked for more information. Resorting straight to a categorical denial was unreasonable, especially considering the specificity of the Request.”

Allen and his family have waited for more than two years without a resolution to his whistleblower case after he made protected disclosures. During this time, Allen has not received an FBI paycheck, and has lost other employment and income opportunities while waiting for FBI approvals and internal appeals procedures that have been slow-walked by FBI bureaucrats.

Here is the full text of the letter.