WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project announced Monday that it has filed seven federal lawsuits against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following the agency’s failure to produce documents in response to lawful Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
The FOIA lawsuits concern a pattern of disturbing and partisan behavior at the FBI:
Surveilling American social media users without requisite legal process;
Inappropriate resourcing during the 2020 Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots in which cities and counties reported that they experienced 2,385 incidents of looting, 624 incidents of arson, 97 police vehicles burned, and more than 2,035 injuries to law enforcement officers;
FBI partisan participation in Black Lives Matter protests;
Nellie Ohr, Fusion GPS’ anti-Trump researcher, who had a part in creating the “Steele” dossier, may have avoided surveillance and potentially mislead Congress concerning this fact;
Pulling FBI agents off cases involving violent crimes in favor of working non-violent Jan. 6 crimes; and
Applying grossly different criminal standards to former president Trump versus President Biden regarding classified record disputes.
In many of these instances, federal law enforcement resources were used to target conservatives or to advance divisive and inappropriate ideologies.
Last September, the Oversight Project sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) following the agencies’ refusal to comply with FOIA requests regarding the raid of Mar-a-Lago and the preferential treatment given to Biden.
Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released the following statement upon the Oversight Project’s filing of the lawsuits:
“Biden’s DOJ and FBI made clear they are perfectly willing to selectively enforce the law. This double standard driven war, particularly on conservatives, must stop. When the top law enforcement agencies in the country refuse to comply with the very laws they’ve sworn to enforce, true accountability is necessary. This is precisely why the Heritage Oversight Project is filing these lawsuits. Americans have a right to know why and how the FBI is targeting everyday Americans and others whom Joe Biden, Merrick Garland, and their lieutenants smear as ‘domestic terrorists.’”
Mike Howell, director of the Oversight Project, also released a statement:
“It is inexcusable that The Heritage Foundation has to go to federal court to fight the FBI’s unlawful withholding of these records. The truth is that these records do not belong to the FBI—they belong to the American people. This is not, and historically has not been, a partisan issue. Historically, reform has happened at the FBI after large disclosures of information in the public’s interest. That is the process we are initiating here, and we are not waiting for anyone on Capitol Hill or the media to do that job for us. It is past time for the weaponization of our federal law enforcement to end. That is why we are suing and that is why we will win.”
To review the Oversight Project's filings, click below: