FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Litigants battle over national monument records

FOIA News (2017)Allan BlutsteinComment

Justice Department won't release national monument documents

By Keith Riddler, Associated Press, Nov. 16, 2017 

Documents possibly outlining legal justifications for President Donald Trump to shrink national monuments don't have to be provided to an Idaho environmental law firm because they're protected communications, federal officials say.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit from Advocates for the West seeking the information.

The environmental law firm filed a public records request for documents on the national monuments earlier this year, and the Justice Department released more than 60 pages in May.

The agency withheld 12 pages, however, contending they are protected by attorney-client privilege and intra-agency communication rules, making them exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests.

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