December 5, 2019 – The DOJ can’t release Awan documents in a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit because they are related to an ongoing “sealed criminal matter”

In Email Timeline Post-Election 2016, Email/Dossier Investigations, Featured Timeline Entries by Katie Weddington

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Imran Awan (Credit: public domain)

“The Department of Justice said this month that it could not release records on Democrat technology aide Imran Awan due to “technical difficulties,” but later admitted in court documents that it could not release records on him because there is a secret ongoing case related to the matter.

“Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit Nov. 7, 2018, for 7,000 pages of Capitol Police records related to the cybersecurity investigation, and Aug. 2, the DOJ agreed to begin producing records by Nov. 5,” Daily Caller News Foundation investigative reporter Luke Rosiak reported. “That deadline came and went with no records being produced; on a Nov. 13 phone call, the DOJ said ‘technical difficulties’ had resulted in a delay, Judicial Watch stated in a court filing.”

In a newly released court filing, the Department of Justice wrote:

Pursuant to an Order issued by the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan, who is presiding over a related sealed criminal matter the Government is prohibited from disclosing certain information pursuant to formal and informal information request in this matter. The Government advised Judge Chutkan of the instant FOIA matter and sought clarification from Judge Chutkan concerning the Government’s permissible response in light of her Order in the sealed matter. Defendant received the clarification December 5, 2019, the date of this filing, that permitted Defendant to say the following: The Government is prohibited from disclosing any information pursuant to an Order issued by the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan. …

…The “difficulties” in providing responsive material was due to the unexpected and unique set of facts described above that was out of the control of the Defendant. Defendant’s only motivation was to maintain the integrity of the sealed matter as much as possible, until the issuing Court provided guidance.”

(The Daily Wire, 12/13/2019)  (Archive)