(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the budget and administrative records of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The lawsuit was filed after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a July 10, 2017, FOIA request seeking the following:
- A copy of the budget prepared and submitted by Robert S. Mueller III or his staff in his capacity as appointed “Special Counsel to oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters.” Temporal scope of this request is from 17 May 2017 to 10 July 2017.
- A copy of all guidance memoranda and communications by which the Justice Management Division will review the Special Counsel’s Office’s “Statement of Expenditures” prior to or for the purpose of making each public. Temporal scope of this request is from 1 June 2017 to present.
- A copy of each document scoping, regulating, or governing the Special Counsel’s Office appointed under the leadership of Mueller III. Temporal scope of this request is from 17 May 2017 to present.
On July 7, 2017, The Washington Post reported that Special counsel Mueller submitted a proposed budget to the Justice Department, “but officials declined to make the document public and committed only to releasing reports of the team’s expenditures every six months.”
Judicial Watch is pursuing numerous additional FOIA lawsuits related to the surveillance, unmasking, and illegal leaking targeting President Trump and his associates during the FBI’s investigation of potential Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement:
“The Mueller special counsel investigation is growing with seemingly little concern about costs to the taxpayer. Is the Justice Department hiding basic budget information about the Mueller special counsel operation because taxpayers and Congress would be outraged by the costs? Mr. Mueller is not above the law and he shouldn’t be able to keep his budget secret. No one else in DC seems to be providing oversight of the Mueller juggernaut, so once again it is up to the citizen’s group Judicial Watch to go to court and demand accountability.”
Do you think that this falls under the freedom of information act? Does the public have the right to know?