Judicial Watch's Dunagan: FOIA Requests Filed on VA Scandal

Friday, 30 May 2014 04:01 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Sean Dunagan, says the government watchdog group has issued a number of Freedom of Information Act requests concerning the scandal at Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country.

Dunagan told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Friday that the group wants "to look at wait times, to look at how those books were cooked ... when the administration really knew about this problem because that's very unclear.

"There's some indication that the president himself knew about this before it came really to public awareness just in the last few weeks," he added. "We are absolutely looking at that."

Story continues below video.

Dunagan said he expects the administration to stonewall the requests and that it will probably take "lawsuits to try to get those documents from the VA and other departments."

Judicial Watch has managed to obtain essential documents exposing the administration's involvement in a number of scandals such as the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the targeting of conservative groups seeking nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service, and the Fast and Furious gun-running operation at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

The organization filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department on Wednesday over the Fast and Furious scandal in an effort to obtain the information it disclosed to a reporter at Fortune magazine about whistleblower ATF Special Agent John Dodson.

According to Dunagan, "Dodson has been waiting for about a year and a half to get a response to really get the documents and the information that was provided about him to that reporter. It's just outrageous, and it certainly seems that it is an effort to smear him, if you read the article."

He contends that retaliating against whistleblowers in that way "certainly has a chilling effect on anyone in any agency with regard to any issue that sees wrongdoing."

As a result, "they're going to think twice about coming forward, and that's really unfortunate."

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