Lawsuit Filed Against State Department for Ignoring Fast and Furious Freedom of Information Act Request
“Today we filed suit against the Department of State on behalf of Kent Terry and David Codrea,” Stamboulieh Law, PLLC announced Sunday. The complaint was filed due to State’s inaction on complying with a Freedom of Information Act Request submitted in June, 2016 seeking information on correspondence, documents and the like pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” and State Department interactions with the government of Mexico.
There are multiple reasons for filing the request, AmmoLand Shooting Sports News reported when the FOIA (read it here) was filed, primarily because it explores an area that has been left largely unresolved by official inquiries from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General. Included in the concerns:
- To corroborate if the government of Mexico was intentionally not informed of a U.S. government law enforcement operation where it was known guns were being illegally exported across its border.
- To determine if Arms Export Control Act regulations were violated and/or ignored.
- To seek further information on why the then-White House Counsel denied the House Oversight Committee access to a former National Security Council official who had been given information on Gun Running Impact Teams by the former top ATF official in Phoenix associated with Fast and Furious, along with the disclaimer “You didn’t get these from me.”
“DoS was required to determine whether to comply with Plaintiffs’ request within twenty (20) working days of receiving the request, or on or about July 29, 2016,” the complaint asserts. “Because DoS failed to determine whether to comply with Plaintiffs’ request within the time period required by FOIA, Plaintiffs are deemed to have exhausted their administrative remedies.”
Because of what appears to be deliberate indifference and stonewalling, the court is being asked to:
- “Order Defendant to conduct a search for any and all responsive records to Plaintiffs’ FOIA request…
- “Produce, by a date certain, any and all non-exempt records to Plaintiffs’ FOIA request…
- “Enjoin Defendants from continuing to withhold any and all nonexempt records…
- “Grant Plaintiff an award of attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred…
- “Grant Plaintiff such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.”
This independent action by private citizens, a man demanding justice for a brother slain in the line of duty in an action involving Fast and Furious weapons, and a gun owner rights advocate is further warranted because:
- Citizen journalism is what brought the “gunwalking” criminal operation to light and forced it into the attention of Congress and the media;
- Congressional Republicans have been good at self-serving complaints about Fast and Furious, but utterly ineffective at bringing about any real changes or holding anyone responsible accountable.
- Donald Trump promised the Terry family answers.
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David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?“