Judicial Watch announced that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records of communication between Special Counsel John Durham and Attorney General Merrick Garland (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:22-cv-00734)).
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the DOJ failed to respond to an August 23, 2021, FOIA request for:
1. All records of communication, including emails and text messages, between Special Counsel John Durham and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
2. All budget records related to the operations of the office of Special Counsel John Durham.
Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley raised concerns last year about whether the Justice Department was in potential conflict with the Durham investigation because a senior Justice official, Susan Hennessey, had previously made statements attacking the Durham Investigation. The senators said, in December 2021, that Hennessey “expressed a clear partisan bias against the Special Counsel’s investigation,” referring to one of her tweets: “Durham has made abundantly clear that in a year and a half, he hasn’t come up with anything. I guess this kind of partisan silliness has become characteristic of Barr’s legacy, but unclear to me why Durham would want to go along with it.”
Durham’s investigation began in May 2019, and he was officially designated as Special Counsel in October 2020.
“It shouldn’t take a federal lawsuit to get answers to simple requests for information about Garland’s communications with Durham and basic budget documents about the Durham Special Counsel operation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.