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Gizmodo Media Grp, LLC v. DOJ, No. 17-3566, 2019 WL 1469665 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 3, 2019) (Cote, J.)


Gizmodo Media Grp, LLC v. DOJ, No. 17-3566, 2019 WL 1469665 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 3, 2019) (Cote, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning alleged wiretaps of 2016 Trump Campaign

Disposition:  Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 1, Glomar:  "[The] Court finds, and there is no dispute, that the information [plaintiff] requests regarding FISA Court applications and orders is classified information that is properly subject to Exemption 1 and a Glomar response if the existence of the records sought by [plaintiff] has not already been made public through an official disclosure."  "Both parties also agree that each of the statements recited above by President Trump, including his tweets, and by the FBI Director are 'official' public statements for purposes of analyzing whether a Glomar response may be given to the [plaintiff's] FOIA request."  "The FBI Director has acknowledged on behalf of DOJ that the Government has no records of wiretapping 'directed at' then-candidate Trump by the Obama Administration.'  "Through the declassification of the Nunez Memorandum, the Government has acknowledged the existence of FISA applications and orders to conduct surveillance of [Carter] Page."  "Documents related to the Page surveillance were later released to the public."

    "The only issue remaining in this case is the propriety of the DOJ's blanket Glomar response as to any remaining category of documents in [plaintiff's] FOIA request."  "[Plaintiff] contends that President Trump's tweets prevent the Government from invoking a Glomar response to that remaining request."  The court finds that "President Trump's tweets were too vague to foreclose a Glomar response to this remaining category of requests."  "President Trump discussed surveillance of his Campaign in broad strokes."  "He did not refer to any targets of this surveillance apart from himself, or to any number of targets."  "His statements do not disclose the existence of records of surveillance of any specific individual associated with his Campaign."  "His statements may be fairly interpreted to refer only to the surveillance of himself or Page; nothing in the statements clearly indicates that the surveillance was not so limited."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 1
Updated January 11, 2022