On Oct. 5, 2017, attorneys with a top “Inside the Beltway” government watchdog group official declared their organization’s latest legal action against the U.S. Department of Justice. While acknowledging the marked differences between the ultra-politicized Obama Justice Department and that of President Donald Trump, many law enforcement and intelligence officers believe that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is conducting an inadequate number of corruption investigations while tepidly pursuing cases of suspected criminal conduct of Democratic Party officeholders and their staffs.
However, last week, the prolific and effective legal group, Judicial Watch, announced it had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the budget and administrative records of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the still evidence-deficient Putin-Trump collusion against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
The lawsuit was filed after the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the DOJ failed to respond to a July 2017 FOIA request seeking the following:
- A copy of the budget prepared and submitted by Robert S. Mueller III or his staff in his capacity as appointed “Special Counsel to oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters.” Temporal scope of this request is from May 17, 2017 to July 10, 2017.
- A copy of all guidance memoranda and communications by which the Justice Management Division will review the Special Counsel’s Office’s “Statement of Expenditures” prior to or for the purpose of making each public. Temporal scope of this request is from June 1, 2017 to present.
- A copy of each document scoping, regulating, or governing the Special Counsel’s Office appointed under the leadership of Special Counsel Mueller. Temporal scope of this request is from May 17, 2017 to present.
On July 7, 2017, The Washington Post reported that Special Counsel Mueller submitted a proposed budget to the Justice Department, “but officials declined to make the document public and committed only to releasing reports of the team’s expenditures every six months.”
According to Judicial Watch, the watchdog’s legal team is pursuing numerous additional FOIA lawsuits related to the surveillance, unmasking, and illegal leaking targeting President Trump and his associates during the FBI’s investigation of potential Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
“It’s a mystery to me why the Trump Administration, the Attorney General and the DOJ would give a group like Judicial Watch a difficult time conducting its own investigations into corruption by members of the previous administration and members of what’s been dubbed the ‘Deep State,’ which pursues the ultimate destruction of President [Donald Trump] and the Republican Party,” notes former police detective and corporate security director Frances Miranda-Kelly.
“The Mueller special counsel investigation is growing with seemingly little concern about costs to the taxpayer,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Is the Justice Department hiding basic budget information about the Mueller special counsel operation because taxpayers and Congress would be outraged by the costs? Mr. Mueller is not above the law and he shouldn’t be able to keep his budget secret. No one else in DC seems to be providing oversight of the Mueller juggernaut, so once again it is up to the citizens group Judicial Watch to go to court and demand accountability.”