For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Garrett Russo: 202.408.5565

DOJ is Roadblock to Open Government

WASHINGTON - Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing concern over
the Department of Justice's (DOJ) failure to abide by President Obama's
commitment to government transparency and accountability. 
Despite policy directives from President Barack Obama and Attorney
General Holder mandating a presumption of openness in administering the
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), DOJ continues to operate - as it did
during the Bush administration -- under a presumption of secrecy,
deliberately withholding information about what DOJ is up to and why.

"Rather than being part of the solution, DOJ is part of the problem,"
said Ms. Weismann.  "Whether it's been CREW's search for the truth
behind the missing emails of torture memos author John Yoo or finding
out what happened in the PMA scandal, DOJ repeatedly has refused to
respond to FOIA requests, denying the public important
information."         

DOJ has stonewalled in response to nearly all of CREW's FOIA
requests, necessitating costly and time consuming litigation given that
the courts offer the only possibility of access to important government
records.  DOJ's practice runs counter to the Obama administration's
pledge of openness, and Attorney General Holder's own directive to stop
the deplorable secrecy of the previous administration.

"It is not too late for the Attorney General to fix this problem,"
concluded Ms. Weismann.  "The president has promised transparency and
the Department of Justice should be leading the way not trailing the
herd.  CREW looks forward to working with DOJ to improve the way the
department responds to FOIA requests."

Click here read CREW's letter to the Department of Justice.

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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.

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