Persecuted Journalist Sues DOJ #GoodForHer
‘Challenging the federal government’: Sharyl Attkisson sues the DOJ
Source: Washington Examiner (12/2/2015)
Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, whose coverage of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, has earned her both high praise and harsh criticism, has launched a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, demanding access to FBI documents that involve her personally.
The now-senior independent contributor to the Daily Signal, a conservative online news outlet based at the Heritage Foundation, alleges that during her final months as a correspondent for CBS News, her personal and work computers were hacked as she continued to produce often unfavorable reports on the Obama administration.
“I am hoping to get information that sheds light on a number of problems I’ve been dealing with,” Attkisson told the Washington Examiner’s media desk Friday evening. “One of the items the FBI is withholding is information surrounding a case they opened on my computer intrusions, which lists me as the victim.”
“Yet they never told me they opened the case, never interviewed me, and won’t produce material relevant to the case or the case file. The case has to progress through court and, historically, the government drags it out (at taxpayer expense). So it’s unclear when, if ever, we might receive the documents to which we are entitled,” she said.
Attkisson is joined in her lawsuit by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group.
“That I’ve had to sue to get my own FBI file is concerning,” she said earlier this week in a joint statement with Judicial Watch. “This administration has a terrible record in respecting the First Amendment rights of journalists.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton added: “We know from the emails we have already obtained that the Obama White House and the Justice Department sought to silence this courageous reporter. Now, we need to find out just how far they went.”
The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 19, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
In it, the lawsuit demands: “Any and all records concerned, regarding or relating to Sharyl Attkisson. Such records include, but are not limited to, records of background checks of Sharyl Attkisson, records of communications, contacts, or correspondence between Sharyl Attkisson and employees, officials or agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and records of investigations concerning or regarding Sharyl Attkisson as a victim…”
But what does she hope to accomplish with her lawsuit?
“To me, the endgame is challenging the federal government for its unlawful responses to FOI requests on a wide range of matters and topics,” Attkisson told the Examiner. “If nobody challenges them, they will continue escalating the unlawful practices (at taxpayer expense) and the public and press will relinquish the rights we are supposed to have to access public information that we own.”
Attkisson is not joined in her lawsuit by the Daily Signal, the website’s editor in chief and Heritage Foundation digital director Rob Bluey told the Examiner.
Judicial Watch did not responded to the Examiner’s request for comment.