Federal judge orders release of federal fraud commission e-mails

A federal district judge ordered the Trump administration to produce e-mails from the short-lived commission created to expose voter fraud. The judge rejected the government argument that they were only required under the Freedom of Information Act to search commission records and not private e-mail accounts. “In an environment of widespread use of personal devices for official work,” wrote the judge,  “there is danger of an incentive to shunt critical and sensitive communication away from official channels and out of public scrutiny, with decisions to forward the communications to official record repositories postponable at the whim of the public official.” (Courthouse News Service, May 1, 2019, by Adam Klasfeld)

Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein addressed the government’s claim that the freedom of information act requests would embroil hundreds and thousands of personal e-mail accounts. He wrote, “This is not the case, and is not what Plaintiffs seek. Plaintiffs’ requests are limited to two people, plus requests by the records custodians to relevant persons in their departments to search for, and forward, responsive private communications on matters relating to the Commission’s business. Plaintiffs’ requests are reasonable and are not barred by presumptions.” (Law & Crime, May 1, 2019, by Alberto Luperon)

For earlier FAC coverage, click here.