Transmitted: June 9, 2022
To: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General
RE: OIG FOIA REQUEST NO. 22-OIG-031
Empower Oversight sent a letter to the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General (DOJ-OIG) regarding an inconsistency between two letters received by Empower Oversight that were responsive to a prior FOIA request.
On November 9, 2021, Empower Oversight filed with the DOJ-OIG a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records that will shed light on findings in DOJ-OIG Investigative Summary 21-090 that three senior FBI officials, including the Special Agent in Charge of an FBI Field Office, engaged in unauthorized use of $2 million of taxpayer dollars. According to the DOJ-OIG summary, none of the officials were prosecuted. The FOIA request has been pending for about seven months, yet DOJ-OIG has produced no records.
On May 2, 2022, Empower Oversight received two letters from the DOJ-OIG that purport to respond to the November 9th FOIA request. The first letter, which Empower Oversight received hours in advance of the second letter, fully denies Empower Oversight’s request, claiming that all information that would be responsive to the request was entirely classified. Conversely, the second letter declares the DOJ-OIG is actively processing the request, and that the agency will inform Empower Oversight if documents can be disclosed.
Empower Oversight is seeking clarification over which letter correctly describes the status of the request, according to DOJ-OIG.
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