248 F.Supp.3d 87 (D.D.C. 2017), C. A. 15-1776 (RMC), Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States Dep't of Treasury

Docket Nº:Civil Action 15-1776 (RMC)
Citation:248 F.Supp.3d 87
Opinion Judge:ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, United States District Judge.
Party Name:JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Defendant
Attorney:Civil Action No. 15-1776 (RMC) For JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Plaintiff: James F. Peterson, JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Washington, DC. For U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Defendant: Bailey Wilson Heaps, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.
Case Date:March 31, 2017
Court:United States District Court, Federal Circuit
 
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Page 87

248 F.Supp.3d 87 (D.D.C. 2017)

JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Plaintiff,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Defendant

Civil Action No. 15-1776 (RMC)

United States District Court, D. Columbia

March 31, 2017

For JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Plaintiff: James F. Peterson, JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., Washington, DC.

For U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Defendant: Bailey Wilson Heaps, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, United States District Judge.

Wasn't it Bernie Sanders who expressed exasperation at the continuing attention to Hillary Clinton's emails some 18-20 months ago? He spoke too soon. Many interested parties have used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552 (2012) to try to find traces of the former Secretary of State's use of a private email server in emails at other federal agencies. Plaintiff Judicial Watch, which sued the Treasury Department to enforce its FOIA request for such emails, cannot believe that none were found; it wants a broader search. Treasury insists its three searches were appropriate enough, and has filed a Motion for Summary Judgement [Dkt. 7], asserting they have met their FOIA obligations. Judicial Watch has opposed, [Dkt. 12], and Treasury has replied [Dkt. 13]. The Court agrees with Treasury. Summary judgment will be granted to the Department.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Judicial Watch Inc. is a nonprofit education institution that regularly requests records under FOIA to " shed light on the operations of the federal government and to educate the public about those operations." Compl. [Dkt. 1] ¶ 3. Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Treasury seeking any and all email correspondence between specific Treasury departments and any " clintonemail.com" address between February 2, 2009 and January 31, 2013. Id. ¶ 5. Specifically, Judicial Watch requested any such emails from the following three Treasury departments: (1) the Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC); (2) the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS); and (3) the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury. Id.

In response, the three named Treasury...

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