Joe Rose Profile picture
Aug 31, 2018 13 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ THREAD - Here's my experience in attempting to #FOIA Brett #Kavanaugh's records as GW Bush's Staff Secretary. Spoiler alert, I didn't get them which is why it's all the more critical that his nomination be postponed until we do.
2/ On Saturday, 8/11/2018, I submitted my first ever FOIA request asking for all records relating to Brett #Kavanuagh's tenure as Staff Secretary for the GW Bush admin. I didn't really know what I was doing but thought it was worth a shot.
3/ The FOIA request was sent to the GW Bush Library. On Monday, two days later, I received an email from a FOIA coordinator with a link to Kavanaugh records! I thought I got them released! Shows how naiive I was…they already had some public.…
4/ I began reading through them, and came across a section on "Methods of Interrogation", "Use of Guantanamo Bay as a Detention Facility", and more. Unfortunately, many of the records in those folders were "withdrawn".
5/ I emailed the FOIA coordinator about those missing records, and she got back to me with the withdraw code info, some add'l info on the number of records withheld, and also that I could appeal. She provided me all the details I needed to appeal.
6/ I had to identify all the individual records I wanted, which folders they were in, provide a brief description, and a reason for my appeal. It took me a week or so to sift through the #Kavanaugh documents and put that together.
7/ I took care to omit any documents that were withdrawn for a national security code (p1) as I figured they'd probably remain closed. All the #Kavanaugh docs I requested were coded as p5 (advice between POTUS and advisors) or p6 (personal privacy)
8/ I put all my appeal requests in an Excel doc and submitted it this past Sunday evening -… .
9/ The main #Kavanaugh folders I was asking for were 2014-0075-F (Gitmo), 2014-0078-F (Interrogation), and 2014-0215-F (Speech Drafts).
10/ The next morning, I received a reponse that my appeal had been received and would be processed - including contacting the former and incumbent presidents per the PRA (Presidential Records Act). I imagined this review would take a while.
11/ I'll pause to make a note that all throughout this process, the FOIA coordinators/archivists that I was communicating with were very helpful and responsive. I doubt the ultimate outcome had anything to do with them.
12/ Two days later (yesterday) I received an answer (aka rejection) from NARA. "…all material remains restricted..." & "Your administrative remedies are now exhausted." #Kavanaugh documents remain sealed
end/ And there you have it. #FOIA requests and appeals to obtain Brett #Kavanaugh's documents has been completely blocked by people who don't want them to get out. This man cannot be considered for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court until these documents are reviewed.

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