DOJ To Declassify ‘The Backbone’ Of Mueller Investigation With Monthly Document Dumps
The Department of Justice will release to the public approximately 500 pages of FBI ‘302’ witness interview forms per month, according to CNN – which sued the DOJ along with co-plaintiff BuzzFeed News under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The documents, known as 302s, memorialize interviews conducted by the office and form the backbone of much of the Mueller report. –CNN
The government has until November 1 to product the first tranche of documents, according to a fuling by federal Judge Reggie B. Walton in Washington DC.
The Mueller investigation initially sought to determine whether the Trump campaign ‘colluded’ with the Russian government during the 2016 US election, along with whether President Trump attempted to obstruct the FBI’s efforts. In his report, released April 18, Mueller’s team was unable to establish any conspiracy, while declining to render an opinion on ten instances of potential obstruction. Ultimately, Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined that obstruction had not occurred.
According to DOJ attorney Courtney Enlow at a Tuesday morning hearing, a total of 800 302 forms were generated during the Mueller probe, potentially numbering around 44,000 pages – which are now subject to a release rate of 500 per week.
Enlow said the FBI had already begun to process the records but said a host of potential exemptions that had to be considered before their release, including national security implications, certain privileges, and exposure to ongoing prosecutions and investigations.
“We have been going through 302s line by line,” Enlow said. “It’s a very intensive process.“
The future production schedule for the remaining interview forms, as well as other records requested by the news outlets, is a matter of contention. –CNN
Judge Walton criticized the incredibly slow declassification, only for the Enlow to respond that the pace was ‘routine’ for the FBI.
Walton will also rule on a request by next month for the release of an unredacted version of the Mueller report, when another status hearing has been scheduled in the cases.
Tue, 10/01/2019 – 18:25