WASHINGTON, DC — The FBI is in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Investigative journalist Jason Leopold and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) PhD candidate/Harvard Klein Center for Internet & Society research affiliate, Ryan Shapiro, filed a lawsuit this morning against the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The suit is over the FBI’s failure to comply with Shapiro and Leopold’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records on the FBI’s role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Jason Leopold is an award-winning Senior Investigative Reporter at Vice News, specializing in counterterrorism and human rights. Leopold has been called a “FOIA Terrorist” by federal employees for his aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act, which includes successfully suing the FBI to force changes to Bureau FOIA practices.
Ryan Shapiro, referred to by Politico as “a FOIA guru at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology”, is an historian of national security, the policing of dissent, and governmental transparency. Shapiro’s pathbreaking FOIA work has already led the FBI to declare his MIT dissertation research a threat to national security. Shapiro is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) at MIT, as well as a Research Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Leopold and Shapiro are represented by Washington, DC-based FOIA specialist attorney Jeffrey Light.
Six key elements of Shapiro and Leopold’s FOIA request & lawsuit:
1.) Leopold and Shapiro submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records on a wide range of records pertaining to FBI operations involving the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This includes but is not limited to all records on:
* The FBI’s investigations of Hillary Clinton’s email & private server
* The FBI’s investigations of the Clinton Foundation
* FBI Director Comey’s communications with Congress regarding the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email & private server
* Allegations of FBI violations of the Hatch Act in the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential election
* Internal discontent at the FBI regarding the FBI’s Clinton investigations
* All leaks of information by the FBI to the press and political operatives about FBI investigations of Hillary Clinton
* All FBI communications with Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, Corey R. Lewandowski, Fox News, Bret Baier, Sean Hannity; & Rudy Giuliani
* Richard Spencer, the National Policy Institute, & the “alt-right”…