Watchdog Sues for Obama FBI Interview Records

JUDICIAL WATCH — (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking FBI interview records of then-President-elect Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, and Valerie Jarrett. Obama and his aides were interviewed as part of the initial investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was sentenced to fourteen years in federal prison for attempting to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No 1:16-cv-00576)).

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the FBI denied June 1, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking:
 

  • Records of FBI interviews with Barack Obama concerning or relating to Rod Blagojevich, including but not limited to notes, summaries, and recordings of the interview.
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  • Records of FBI interviews with Rahm Emanuel concerning or relating to Rod Blagojevich, including but not limited to notes, summaries, and recordings of the interview.
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  • Records of FBI interviews with Valerie Jarrett concerning or relating to Rod Blagojevich, including but not limited to notes, summaries, and recordings of the interview.
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  • Records concerning any of the aforementioned interviews with Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, or Valerie Jarrett.

On June 18, 2012, the FBI denied Judicial Watch’s FOIA request asserting the records were exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(A). Record/Information Dissemination Section Chief David M. Hardy stated:

OBAMA SCOTUS PICK CITED BENGHAZI VIDEO LIE AS FACT IN JW COURT HEARING — JUDICIAL WATCH

OBAMA FAMILY 2015 HONOLULU CHRISTMAS VACATION COST TAXPAYERS $3,590,313 IN FLIGHT EXPENSES ALONE — JUDICIAL WATCH

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