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FBI sued over Andrew Breitbart’s records

Matthew Vadum author image / /   8 Comments

It’s about time somebody did it, even if it’s the goofy cat-video website Buzzfeed.

I’m talking about suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation which is apparently violating federal law by failing to process Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests in a timely manner. In this case Buzzfeed wants the FBI file for the late Andrew Breitbart and hasn’t been getting it.

According to The Wrap:

BuzzFeed wants some answers from the FBI about deceased conservative media figure Andrew Breitbart — and it’s willing to sue to find out. BuzzFeed and journalist Jason Leopold have filed a complaint against the FBI, claiming that the bureau hasn’t done everything it can to answer their request for information on Breitbart. The complaint, filed Friday in federal court in California, says that Leopold filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI for “all records related to Andrew Breitbart” on Aug. 7, 2012, a few months after Breitbart died at age 43.

Here is a copy of the legal complaint filed in Los Angeles Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Subject to some specified restrictions, the FBI is supposed to cough up a deceased person’s raw file when it is requested.

But the federal agency takes its sweet time doing it — and that’s not okay.

The FBI has been bad about processing FoIA requests for years now. I filed one in October 2015 — 18 months ago — and as far as I can tell, nothing has happened.

I just performed an online status check today that confirmed the request has gone nowhere: “The FBI’s FOIPA Program has identified potential responsive information to your request(s) and awaits assignment to a Government Information Specialist (GIS) for further processing.”

How reassuring.