FOIA Update
August 20, 2021

Transmitted: August 19, 2021

To: Department of Justice


DOJ Investigation FOIA PDF

Re: Attorney General Garland’s Actions Regarding Special Counsel Durham’s Budget


Empower Oversight submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice seeking information to reveal whether Attorney General Garland has taken measures to thwart Special Counsel Durham’s investigation.  Under the regulations governing the Special Counsel, it is up to the Attorney General to decide whether to allow the investigation to continue into a new fiscal year and whether to approve the budget necessary for it to do so.

Unfortunately, at his confirmation hearing, when asked whether he would commit to providing Special Counsel Durham with the time and budget needed to complete the investigation, Attorney General Garland failed to do so.  Similarly, the Justice Department has failed to respond to recent requests by Congress and the media to clarify whether the Attorney General has decided to allow the Special Counsel’s investigation to continue beyond the end of this fiscal year or approved a budget for the next fiscal year.  As the end of this fiscal year, September 30, gets closer and closer, these issues become more pressing.  

Special Counsel Durham’s investigation is of vital importance to the American people, and the people deserve answers from the Justice Department to determine if any actions have been taken to undermine the investigation’s integrity.  We hope the Justice Department will promptly respond to Empower Oversight’s FOIA request and let the public know the truth.  If they refuse to do so, we will take them to court.

Empower Oversight previously sought information from the Justice Department regarding the appointment of Ms. Susan Hennessey, who had made prejudicial public comments about the Durham investigation, to the Justice Department’s National Security Division.  Although the records sought are key to understanding what steps, if any, the Justice Department has taken to mitigate the appearance that Ms. Hennessey’s biases could interfere with the Special Counsel’s work, the Justice Department denied Empower Oversight’s request for expedited processing and has not yet disclosed any documents.

If you have first-hand information you’d like to disclose to assist Empower Oversight with these inquiries, please contact us confidentially here.