FOIA Advisor

Testing

FOIA News: Justice Department fights order to preserve ex-DHS officials’ emails

FOIA News (2017)Kevin SchmidtComment

Justice Department fights order to preserve ex-DHS officials’ emails

By Josh Gerstein, Politico, Jan. 27, 2017

The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to reconsider an order requiring four former Department of Homeland Security officials, including ex-Secretary Jeh Johnson, to preserve many of their emails stored on private accounts.

Last week, two days before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss ordered that Johnson and three former top DHS officials move messages they stored in online, personal accounts to thumb drives or hard drives for safekeeping.

Moss said he ordered the move out of “an abundance of caution” in connection with a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuit exploring the officials’ use of personal email on government computers.

Justice Department lawyers opposed the preservation order, saying the officials already pledged to hang on to any potentially responsive emails in their accounts. On Thursday, federal government attorneys went back to Moss, asking him to reconsider the order.

Read more here.