Judicial Watch announced that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the State Department and the Department of the Treasury for records of former Obama Administration officials requesting to unmask Lieutenant General (Retired) Michael Flynn (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency et al.
(No. 1:20-cv-03314)). The suit was filed on November 16, 2020.
Judicial Watch filed this lawsuit after all of the above-named agencies failed to respond to FOIA requests that were sent on September 1, 2020. Additionally, the Treasury Department failed to respond to a FOIA request served on September 2, 2020.
The FOIA requests ask for unmasking requests made by the following officials:
- CIA: John Brennan — December 14 and 15, 2016
- Defense Intelligence Agency: Deputy Assistant Director: National Media Exploitation Center — December 15, 2016
- Department of Energy: Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall — December 15, 2016
- FBI: James Comey — December 15, 2016
- ODNI: James Clapper — December 2, 2016 to January 7, 2017, Michael Dempsy — January 7, 2017, Stephanie O'Sullivan — January 7, 2017
- State Department: Kelly Degnan — December 6, 2016, John R. Phillips — Dec. 6, 2016, John Christenson — December 15, 2016, Douglas Lute — December 15, 2016, Lee Litzenberger — December 15, 2016, Tamir Waser — December 15, 2016
- Treasury: Jacob Lew — December 14 and 15, 2016, Mike Neufeld — December 14, 2016, Arthur McGlynn — December 14, 2016, Nathan Sheets — December 14, 2016, Adam Szubin — December 14, 2016, Sarah Raskin — December 14, 2016, Patrick Conlon — December 14, 2016
The names of officials and dates identified in the FOIA requests were taken directly from a list declassified on May 8, 2020, by then-Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and submitted to Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Johnson on May 13.
"The unmasking requests during the Obama-Trump transition by high-ranking Obama officials reek of sedition,"
said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "President Trump should order a full court transparency press to expose more of the truth about this terrible corruption."
In October 2020, Judicial Watch sued
the National Security Agency (NSA) for records of requests by former Vice President Joe Biden and other top Obama administration officials, including President Obama's chief of staff, to "unmask" Flynn.
In June 2020, Judicial Watch sued
the State Department for records of requests by former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power to "unmask" Flynn.