Selective processing of FOIA requests based on political affiliation by the Department of Justice

An investigation by J. Christian Adams, carrying on with his Pulitzer Prize caliber campaign of uncovering wrongdoing by Eric Holder, discovered the DOJ had selectively delayed and sometimes altogether ignored FOIA requests by conservative linked organizations and individuals. In a February 2011 article for PJ Media, Adams wrote “FOIA requests from liberals or politically connected civil rights groups are often given same day turn-around by the DOJ. But requests from conservatives or Republicans face long delays.”

Adams documented numerous examples where liberal linked organizations including the ACLU, NAACP and Mexican American Legal Defense Fund often had their FOIA requests processed in days while conservative organizations like the Washington Times, Judicial Watch and Human Events were often forced to wait months. One request by Republican attorney Chris Ashby for five Voting Rights Act records took nearly eight months to process while a nearly identical request by the liberal Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda for 23 records was completed in 20 days.

After reviewing dozens of FOIA records Adams found “in no instance does a conservative or Republican requestor receive a reply in the time period prescribed by law.” Even Republicans in Congress weren’t immune to special treatment as Rep. Frank Wolf’s FOIA request was needlessly held up for five months.

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