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FOIA Request: CREW: DOJ-Criminal Division: Regarding Jerry Lewis Investigation: 1/24/11

FOIA Request: CREW: DOJ-Criminal Division: Regarding Jerry Lewis Investigation: 1/24/11

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Published by CREW
On January 24, 2011, CREW continued to seek information about why the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped numerous investigations into activities of members of Congress in last few months, filing Freedom of Information Act requests with DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for records related to DOJ's now-closed investigation of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Emeritus Jerry Lewis (R-CA).
On January 24, 2011, CREW continued to seek information about why the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped numerous investigations into activities of members of Congress in last few months, filing Freedom of Information Act requests with DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for records related to DOJ's now-closed investigation of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Emeritus Jerry Lewis (R-CA).

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Published by: CREW on Mar 31, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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04/06/2012

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CREW
I
citizensforresponsibilityandethicsinwashington
January24,2011
Byfacsimile:202-514-6117
RenaY.KimChief,FOIAIPASectionCriminalDivisionU.S.DepartmentofJusticeSuite1127,KeeneyBuilding950PennsylvaniaAvenue,N.W.Washington,D.C.20530-0001
Re:FreedomofInformationActRequest
DearMs.Kim:CitizensforResponsibilityandEthicsinWashington("CREW")makesthisrequestforrecords,regardlessofformat,medium,orphysicalcharacteristics,andincludingelectronicrecordsandinformation,audiotapes,videotapesandphotographs,pursuanttotheFreedomofInformationAct("FOIA"),5U.S.c.§§552,
etseq.,
andU.S.DepartmentofJustice("DOJ")regulations,28C.F.R.Part16.Specifically,CREWrequestsallrecordsrelatedtotheinvestigationofRep.JerryLewis(R-CA)conductedbyDOJandtheFederalBureauofInvestigation("FBI")thatarenotcoveredbygrandjurysecrecypursuanttoRule6(e)oftheFederalRulesofCriminalProcedure,includingbutnotlimitedtoDOJ'sdecisionnottobringcriminalchargesagainsthim.Asreportedpublicly,in2006DOJ,theFBI,andotherlawenforcementagencieslaunchedaninvestigationofRep.Lewisfocusedonhisconductinobtainingmillionsofdollarsinearmarksforclientsoflobbyingfirmsrunbyhisformercolleaguesandstaffmembers.
See
AshleyPowers
&
RichardSimon,SanBernardinoCountyRecordsAreSubpoenaed,
LosAngelesTimes,
June3,2006(attachedasExhibitA).OnDecember3,2010,aspokesmanfortheU.S.Attorney'sOfficefortheCentralDistrictofCaliforniaannouncedDOJhadcloseditsinvestigationintoRep.Lewis'sconduct.
See
RichardSimon,FederalinquiryofRep.Lewisdropped,
LosAngelesTimes,
December4,2010(attachedasExhibitB).Pleasesearchforresponsiverecordsregardlessofformat,medium,orphysicalcharacteristics.Wherepossible,pleaseproducerecordselectronically,inPDForTIFformatonaCD-ROM.Weseekrecordsofanykind,includingelectronicrecords,audiotapes,videotapes,andphotographs.Ourrequestincludesanyletters,emails,facsimiles,telephonemessages,voicemailmessages,andtranscripts,notes,orminutesofanymeetings,telephoneconversations,ordiscussions.Ourrequestalsoincludesanyattachmentstotheserecords.Ifitisyourpositionthatanyportionoftherequestedrecordsisexemptfromdisclosure,
1400EyeStreet,NW.,Suite450,Washington,D.C.20005
I
202.408.5565phone
I
202.588.5020fax
I
.~;
 
RenaY.KimJanuary24,2011Page2CREWrequeststhatyouprovideitwithanindexofthosedocumentsasrequiredunder
Vaughn
v.
Rosen,
484F.2d820(D.C.Cir.1973),
cert.denied,
415U.S.977(1972).Asyouareaware,a
Vaughn
indexmustdescribeeachdocumentclaimedasexemptwithsufficientspecificity"topermitareasonedjudgmentastowhetherthematerialisactuallyexemptunderFOIA."
FoundingChurchofScientologyv.Bell,
603F.2d945,949(D.C.Cir.1979).Moreover,the
Vaughn
indexmust"describeeachdocumentorportionthereofwithheld,andfor
each
withholdingitmustdiscusstheconsequencesofsupplyingthesought-afterinformation."
King
v.
Us.
Dep
't
0/
Justice,
830F.2d210,223-24(D.C.Cir.1987)(emphasisadded).Further,"thewithholdingagencymustsupply'arelativelydetailedjustification,specificallyidentifyingthereasonswhyaparticularexemptionisrelevantandcorrelatingthoseclaimswiththeparticularpartofawithhelddocumenttowhichtheyapply.'"
ld.
at224(citing
MeadDataCentral
v.
us.
Dep'toftheAirForce,
566F.2d242,251(D.C.Cir.1977)).Intheeventsomeportionsoftherequestedrecordsareproperlyexemptfromdisclosure,pleasediscloseanyreasonablysegregablenon-exemptportionsoftherequestedrecords.
See
5U.S.C.§552(b).Ifitisyourpositionthatadocumentcontainsnon-exemptsegments,butthatthosenon-exemptsegmentsaresodispersedthroughoutthedocumentastomakesegregationimpossible,pleasestatewhatportionofthedocumentisnon-exempt,andhowthematerialisdispersedthroughoutthedocument.
MeadDataCentral,
566F.2dat261.Claimsofnonsegregabilitymustbemadewiththesamedegreeofdetailasrequiredforclaimsofexemptionsina
Vaughn
index.Ifarequestisdeniedinwhole,pleasestatespecificallythatitisnotreasonabletosegregateportionsoftherecordforrelease.Finally,CREWwelcomestheopportunitytodiscusswithyouwhetherandtowhatextentthisrequestcanbenarrowedormodifiedtobetterenableDOJtoprocessitwithintheFOIA'sdeadlines.AdamJ.Rappaport,theCREWattorneyhandlingthismatter,canbereachedat(202)408-5565orarappaport@citizensforethics.org.
FeeWaiverRequest
Inaccordancewith5U.S.C.§552(a)(4)(A)(iii)and28C.F.R.§16.11(k),CREWrequestsawaiveroffeesassociatedwithprocessingthisrequestforrecords.Thesubjectofthisrequestconcernstheoperationsofthefederalgovernmentandexpenditures,andthedisclosureswilllikelycontributetoabetterunderstandingofrelevantgovernmentproceduresbyCREWandthegeneralpublicinasignificantway.Moreover,therequestisprimarilyandfundamentallyfornon-commercialpurposes.5U.S.C.§552(a)(4)(A)(iii).
See,e.g.,McClellanEcologicalv.Carlucci,
835F.2d1282,1285(9thCir.1987).TheserecordsarelikelytocontributetogreaterpublicawarenessofallegedmalfeasanceandpossiblecriminalbehaviorbyRep.Lewisandwhy,despitethisapparentmalfeasance,DOJrefusedtoprosecuteRep.Lewis.Rep.Lewis,amemberoftheHouseAppropriationsCommittee
 
Rena
Y.
KimJanuary24,2011Page3since1980,servedaschairmanoftheDefenseAppropriationsSubcommitteefrom1999to2005,chairmanofthefullcommitteefrom2005to2006,rankingmemberofthefullcommitteefrom2007to2010,andcurrentlyservesasthecommittee's"ChairmanEmeritus."
See
OfficeofRep.JerryLewis,CongressmanJerryLewisnamedAppropriationsCommitteeChairmanEmeritus,January7,2011(attachedasExhibitC).Whileservingonthecommittee,Rep.LewissteeredmillionsofdollarsinearmarkstoclientsoflobbyingfirmsmanagedbyformerRep.BillLowery(R-CA),manyofwhommadesubstantialcontributionstohiscampaigncommitteeandhisleadershippoliticalactioncommittee.
See
ScotJ.Paltrow,ContractorProvesKeyinTwoFederalProbes-InvestigationsPromisetoKeepAliveControversyOverCongressionalEarmarks,
WallStreetJournal,
January19,2007(attachedasExhibitD);DavidJohnston
&
DavidD.Kirkpatrick,DealMakerDetailstheArtofGreasingthePalm,
NewYorkTimes,
August6,2006(attachedasExhibitE).TheU.S.Attorney'sOfficefortheCentralDistrictofCalifornia,workingwiththeFBIandotherlawenforcementagencies,openedaninvestigationin2006into"whetherLewismighthavebenefittedfinancially,orotherwisemisusedhisoffice,inearmarkingfunds"forclientsofMr.Lowery'sfirms,CopelandLoweryJacquezDenton
&
White("CopelandLowery")andInnovativeFederalStrategies.
See,e.g.,
JerryKammer,CloseTiesMakeRep.Lewis,LobbyistLowryaPotentPair,
CopleyNewsService,
December23,2005(attachedasExhibitF).Allegationsprobedbyinvestigatorsincluded:(1)Rep.Lewis'sconductinhelpingsecuregovernmentcontractsforCopelandLoweryclientBrentWilkes,amajordonortoRep.LewiswhowaslaterconvictedofbribingformerRep.Randy"Duke"Cunninghaminexchangeforearmarks,
see,e.g.,
JerryKammer
&
DeanCalbreath,Lewissubjectof'earmarks'investigation,
CopleyNewsService,
May12,2006(attachedasExhibitG);(2)earmarksRep.Lewisobtainedforcities,schools,hospitals,colleges,andothergovernmentinstitutionsinandaroundhisdistrictthatpaidmillionsofdollarsinfeestoCopelandLowery,
see,e.g.,
WilliamHeisel
&
RichardSimon,InlandEmpireShellsOutforClout,
LosAngelesTimes,
June18,2006(attachedasExhibitH);and(3)Rep.Lewis'sconductinsecuringtensofmillionsofdollarsincontractsforacompany,ESRIInc.,whoseownerscontributedmorethan$23,000toRep.Lewisfrom2002-06,
see
JeremiahMarquez,FedslookingatlanddealinvolvingJerryLewis,
AssociatedPress,
September5,2006(attachedasExhibitI).InvestigatorsalsofocusedontherevolvingdoorbetweenLewis'sstaffandCopelandLoweryandwhetherLewisfavoredCopelandLoweryclientsinsecuringappropriations.
See
Powers
&
Simon,
LosAngelesTimes,
June3,2006.Duringtheinvestigation,subpoenaswereissuedtonumerousCopelandLoweryclientsaskingfore-mails,memoranda,contracts,andotherrecordsregardingthedecisiontohirethefirm,andfordocumentsrelatingtothecommunicationbetweenthefirmandRep.Lewisand/orhisstaff.
Jd.
TheU.S.Attorney'sOfficefortheCentralDistrictofCaliforniaannouncedinDecember2010ithadcloseditsinvestigationofRep.Lewis'sconduct.
See
Simon,
LosAngelesTimes,
Dec.4,2010.

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