Judicial Watch v. NARA, No. 16-5366, 2017 WL 5907354 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 1, 2017) (Rogers, J.)

Date: 
Friday, December 1, 2017

Judicial Watch v. NARA, No. 16-5366, 2017 WL 5907354 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 1, 2017) (Rogers, J.)

Re: Request for independent counsel's drafts indictments against former First Lady as part of investigation of her legal representation of defunct thrift institution

Disposition: Affirming district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 7(C):  The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit finds that, "[a]lthough the existence of the Independent Counsel's investigation of her is public knowledge, Mrs. Clinton, . . . 'retain[s] a . . . distinct privacy interest in the contents of the investigative files.'"  "Consequently, Mrs. Clinton's significant privacy interest in the contents of the Independent Counsel's investigative files 'should yield only where exceptional interests militate in favor of disclosure.'"  The court finds that "[n]o indictment charging Mrs. Clinton with a crime was ever issued by a grand jury, nor was any criminal conviction of her obtained by the Independent Counsel."  Also, "voluminous information [is] already in the public domain" and "the incremental public interest in learning how the Independent Counsel carried out his investigation of Mrs. Clinton by disclosure of a draft indictment appears slight."  "Mere 'general public curiosity' is not enough."
     
  • Litigation Considerations, "Reasonably Segregable" Requirements:  The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit holds that, "by providing a detailed description of the requested documents, identifying applicable exemptions, and explaining why they could not be released in redacted form, the National Archives properly withheld the documents in full."
Topic: 
District Court
Exemption 7C
Litigation Considerations
Updated June 28, 2018