The Justice Department is refusing to release the proposed budget of Robert Mueller’s U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
Judicial Watch asked for a "copy of the budget prepared or submitted" by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But, on Friday, Jan. 19 of this year, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) notified Judicial Watch that it refuses to turn over documents, stating: "seven pages were located that contain records responsive to your . . . request. We have determined that this material should be withheld in full because it is protected from disclosure under the FOIA."
The Justice Department claims the Mueller budget information cannot be released because its release could interfere with "law enforcement proceedings" and that the material is protected from disclosure by the "deliberative process privilege."
We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the DOJ on October 5, 2017, after it failed to respond to a July 10, 2017, request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-02079)).
Judicial Watch is seeking a copy of the budget submitted by Mueller or his staff; a copy of all guidance communications by which the Justice Management Division will review the Special Counsel’s Office’s "Statement of Expenditures," and a copy of each document governing the Special Counsel’s Office appointed under the leadership of Mueller.
The Justice Department has thus far ignored Judicial Watch’s requests for documents about its management of the Mueller operation.
The Justice Department also sent Judicial Watch a copy of a previously published document showing expenditures by the Special Counsel’s Office from May 17, 2017, to September 30, 2017. The total was $3,213,695 — nearly one million dollars per month.
On July 7, 2017, The Washington Post reported that Special counsel Mueller submitted a proposed budget to the Justice Department, "but officials declined to make the document public and committed only to releasing reports of the team’s expenditures every six months."
Judicial Watch is pursuing numerous additional FOIA lawsuits related to the surveillance, unmasking, and illegal leaking targeting President Trump and his associates during the FBI’s investigation of potential Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. For example, see here, here, and here.
Special Counsel Mueller’s operation is not above the law. The American people have a right to know how much taxpayer money is planned for his massive investigation. No one else in Washington, D.C. seems to be providing oversight of the Mueller operation, so once again it is up to the citizen’s group Judicial Watch to go to fight for accountability.
Tom Fitton is the president of Judicial Watch. He is a nationally recognized expert on government corruption. A former talk radio and television host and analyst, Tom is well known across the country as a national spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been quoted in Time, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and most every other major newspaper in the country. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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