Ty Clevenger, a New York City attorney, has been attempting to get the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to release additional information on their Hillary Clinton investigation. His latest efforts were met with the most pathetic excuse imaginable.
Fox News released a version of the letter the FBI issued to Clevenger, which purported to justify their rejection of the lawyer’s information request. In their letter to Clevenger, the FBI noted that the topic in question – Hillary Clinton – was not of interest to the public to a level sufficient to grant his open-records request.
FBI records management Section Chief David M. Hardy accused Clevenger, saying, “You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” in a letter Monday.
The letter continues, “It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA.” Additionally, “you must show that the public interest sought is a significant one, and that the requested information is likely to advance that interest.”
Hardy then concluded, “Therefore, records regarding your subject are withheld pursuant to FOIA exemptions.”
Clevenger had filed his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in March of last year and requested the release of documents that included or referenced conversations between Clinton and the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Congress.
Clevenger specifically requested all documents related to then-House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s Sept. 6, 2016 referral to the Department of Justice.
He even requested the FBI to examine “whether Secretary Clinton or her employees and contractors violated statues that prohibit destruction of records, obstruction of congressional inquiries, and concealment or cover up of evidence material to a congressional investigation.”
The FBI’s excuse came as a shock to Ty Clevenger, “Frankly, I am stunned I should have to explain why my request pertains to a matter of public interest.”
Items that are considered to be ‘in the public interest,’ need to benefit the general populace, be pursued for non-frivolous reasons, or be requested in the interest of a specific party. Clevenger reasonably believed that his request met these requirements. After all, Clinton had been Secretary of State under Obama, and a contender in the 2016 presidential race.
“This is exactly what I would have expected had Mrs. Clinton won the election,” an exasperated Clevenger admitted to the Washington Times. “It looks like the [Barack] Obama Administration is still running the FBI,” Clevenger concluded. “How can a story receive national news coverage and not be a matter of public interest? If this is the new standard, then there’s no such thing as a public interest exception!”
Let’s see if we can help Mr. Clevenger prove his point; participate in the poll below!