Pull up a chair.

I want to tell you a story about my three year #FOIA squabble with CIA.

1/
In early 2013, I filed a #FOIA request w/CIA for a list of inspector general investigations into waste, fraud, abuse, whistleblowing, crimes. It took 2 yrs for CIA to send me the list. Then I filed a separate request for the IG rpts on this list and then I sued CIA for it.

2/
One such CIA IG report on this list that caught my attention was titled:

"Alleged Employee Misconduct and the Illegal Killing of Animal on Federal Property"

I wanted this report and it is one of the dozens I sued over.

3/
In 2015, CIA started to declassify and turn over, in redacted form, some of the IG reports I requested.

A couple of those CIA IG reports I sued over resulted in this BIG SCOOP

4/

news.vice.com/article/tequil…
But CIA did not turn over the IG report on the illegal killing of an animal on federal property.

CIA said it was withholding this report in full b/c, if any info was revealed, it would endanger national security.

The CIA even refused to disclose the animal that was killed

5/
I thought it was ludicrous that CIA would conceal the type of animal Illegally killed on natsec grounds but the agency argued that revealing this info could lead to a mosaic in which I figure out the geographic location of a covert program and, maybe, even the program too

6/
So my AMAZING #FOIA atty @_LightLaw fought on my behalf to pry loose this particular IG rpt on the Illegal killing of the animal & other rpts CIA withheld (such as dozens related to detainee abuse)

But CIA continued to say it could not reveal any part of the rpt

Here's why

7/
.@_LightLaw spent more than a year litigating this #FOIA case, filing compelling motions that laid bare why the CIA was wrong to either withhold these IG reports on the killing of the animal, detainee abuse, and others, and/or went overboard with redactions.

8/
WELL, 3+ yrs later ... @_LightLaw & I now claim a partial victory:

CIA has now released to me the IG doc into probe of the illegal killing of an animal on federal property

IT WAS A DEER. CIA CLASSIFIED A DEER!

CIA would not disclose any other info citing danger to natsec

9/9

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More from @JasonLeopold

Sep 22, 2018
Since last Oct, @a_cormier_ and I (with valuable contribs from @LoopEmma) have been on the #MoneyTrail, reporting stories abt suspicious financial transactions connected to all the key figures in the Trump/Russia probe whose finances are under scrutiny by Mueller/Congress 1/
We started with this story on Paul Manafort, published one day before he was indicted. 2/

buzzfeednews.com/article/jasonl…
Since then, we've reported on suspicious financial transactions about Sergey Kislyak, the Russian embassy, Maria Butina and Paul Erickson, GOP operative Peter Smith and a 2-parter on the planners of the Trump Tower meeting

Those stories are all here 3/

buzzfeed.com/badge/themoney…
Read 7 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
For folks asking Q's about the #MoneyTrail as it relates to Mueller investigation, here's an explainer as we have noted in this and previous stories 1/

Last year, prior to the appt of Mueller as special counsel, multiple congressional committees investigating Russia's interference in election sent confidential letters to Treasury asking for any suspicious activity reports on dozens of people caught up in Trump/Russia probe 2/
Treasury financial crimes unit sent out broad requests to numerous banks & searched it's databases for suspicious activity reports on these individuals and businesses going back 2 & 5 yrs. In some cases banks conducted what's known as a "look back" at these individuals' accts 3/
Read 8 tweets
Sep 14, 2018
On Nov. 21, 2016, Emin Agalarov’s checking acct received $165K from an account based in Russia belonging to his family. The following day, the account sent $107K to Corsy Intl, a company run by Ike Kaveladze, who also attended the Trump Tower meeting.
buzzfeed.com/anthonycormier…
Bankers were suspicious for a number of reasons. For one, Kaveladze was an employee of the Agalarovs’ Crocus Group, based in Russia. Why, bankers wondered, would the funds start in Russia, briefly make a pit stop in Emin Agalarov’s NJ account, and finally be sent to Corsy Intl?
Finally, bankers focused on the address of Corsy Intl: a small, windowless office in NJ When examiners began investigating this address, they discovered at least 8 other companies located there, all of them controlled by Kaveladze, Emin Agalarov, or their associates.
Read 8 tweets
Sep 3, 2018
BREAKING from Reuters: Myanmar judge sentences Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo to seven years in prison
LIVE: Verdicts/sentences for detained Reuters journalists in Myanmar : reut.tv/2PdT7co via @ReutersTV
Was Lone and Kyaw So Oo were charged under Myanmar’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act, and the case was prosecuted by the govt of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent 15 yrs under house arrest under the previous military govt
nyti.ms/2MKcxsK
Read 4 tweets
Aug 31, 2018
The significance and implication of all of the suspicious financial transactions involving dozens of individuals caught up in the Russia probe that @a_cormier_ & I have been reporting on for the past 10 months can be found in Sam Patten's guilty plea today.

1/
Investigators built their case, in part, by obtaining suspicious activity reports from banks on Patten's financial transactions and following the money. That's what investigators are now doing with Butina, the Russian Embassy, Kislyak, Peter Smith, and others 2/
Investigators at Treasury and FBI then work with financial intelligence units around the world, through The Egmont Group, which share additional details on foreign transactions with the US. 3/

egmontgroup.org
Read 6 tweets
Aug 29, 2018
UPDATE to UPDATE: USPS #FOIA office says it has no record in its logs of America Rising's FOIA request for Spanberger's personnel file, meaning it did not process the request. HOWEVER ... 1/

Just learned from USPS referral of America Rising's request from NPRC was directly to USPS Corporate Personnel Management. Right here: about.usps.com/handbooks/as35…

BUT and this is important: NPRC is actually agency that pulled Spanberger's personnel file! NPRC sent it to USPS! 2/
So NPRC, in a July 12 letter to America Rising, said that it pulled Spanberger's entire personnel file and said USPS retains custody of the file so they sent it to USPS corporate management for review. 3 wks later, USPS HR approved the release to America Rising 3/3
Read 4 tweets

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