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FOIA Request: CREW: FBI: Regarding Jerry Lewis Investigation: 1/24/11

FOIA Request: CREW: FBI: 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:540-868-4995
FederalBureauofInvestigationAttn:FOI/PARequestRecord/InformationDisseminationSection170MarcelDriveWinchester,VA22602-4843
Re:FreedomofInformationActRequest
DearSir/Madam: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,CREWrequeststhatyouprovideitwithanindexofthosedocumentsasrequiredunder
Vaughnv.Rosen,
484F.2d820(D.C.Cir.1973),
cert.denied,
415U.S.977(1972).Asyouareaware,a
1400EyeStreet,
NW,
Suite450,Washington,D.C.20005
I
202.408.5565phone
I
202.588.5020fax
I
.~,
 
FederalBureauofInvestigationJanuary24,2011Page2
Vaughn
indexmustdescribeeachdocumentclaimedasexemptwithsufficientspecificity"topermitareasonedjudgmentastowhetherthematerialisactuallyexemptunderFOIA."
FoundingChurchofScientology
v.
Bell,
603F.2d945,949(D.C.Cir.1979).Moreover,the
Vaughn
indexmust"describeeachdocumentorportionthereofwithheld,andfor
each
withholdingitmustdiscusstheconsequencesofsupplyingthesought-afterinformation."
Kingv.
Us.
Dep
't
ofJustice,
830F.2d210,223-24(D.C.Cir.1987)(emphasisadded).Further,"thewithholdingagencymustsupply'arelativelydetailedjustification,specificallyidentifyingthereasonswhyaparticularexemptionisrelevantandcorrelatingthoseclaimswiththeparticularpartofawithhelddocumenttowhichtheyapply.'"
Id.
at224(citing
MeadDataCentralv.
us.
Dep
't
oftheAirForce,
566F.2d242,251(D.C.Cir.1977)).Intheeventsomeportionsoftherequestedrecordsareproperlyexemptfromdisclosure,pleasediscloseanyreasonablysegregablenon-exemptportionsoftherequestedrecords.
See5
U.S.C.§552(b).Ifitisyourpositionthatadocumentcontainsnon-exemptsegments,butthatthosenon-exemptsegmentsaresodispersedthroughoutthedocumentastomakesegregationimpossible,pleasestatewhatportionofthedocumentisnon-exempt,andhowthematerialisdispersedthroughoutthedocument.
MeadDataCentral,
566F.2dat261.Claimsofnonsegregabilitymustbemadewiththesamedegreeofdetailasrequiredforclaimsofexemptionsina
Vaughn
index.Ifarequestisdeniedinwhole,pleasestatespecificallythatitisnotreasonabletosegregateportionsoftherecordforrelease.Finally,CREWwelcomestheopportunitytodiscusswithyouwhetherandtowhatextentthisrequestcanbenarrowedormodifiedtobetterenabletheFBItoprocessitwithintheFOIA'sdeadlines.Adam
J.
Rappaport,theCREWattorneyhandlingthismatter,canbereachedat(202)408-5565orarappaport!a{citizensforethics.org.
...
-
FeeWaiverReguest
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,amemberoftheHouseAppropriationsCommitteesince1980,servedaschairmanoftheDefenseAppropriationsSubcommitteefrom1999to2005,chairmanofthefullcommitteefrom2005to2006,rankingmemberofthefullcommitteefrom
 
FederalBureauofInvestigationJanuary24,2011Page32007to2010,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,DealMakerDetailstheAliofGreasingthePalm,
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.TherequesteddocumentswouldshedlightontheconductofDOJandtheFBIinconductingtheinvestigationofRep.Lewis,andDO]'sdecisiontoclosetheinvestigation

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