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Daily Archives: October 2, 2019

Both the Inspector General and the Whistleblower Followed the Law

POGO – “In the swirl of the news cycle about revelations coming from an intelligence whistleblower and misguided but predictable attacks on them, we want to set some facts straight. The whistleblower’s complaint documented his urgent concern that President Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The whistleblower’s allegations were largely corroborated with a summarized partial transcript of the phone call. Given the confusion—and perhaps deliberate disinformation—regarding whistleblower disclosures, and specifically the requirements for intelligence community whistleblowers to make disclosures to the inspector general, it’s particularly important for Congress, as well as the media covering this breaking news, to separate fact from fiction in this complicated area of the law. First, a federal government employee who blows the whistle only needs to have a “reasonable belief” of wrongdoing, as has been codified for decades in federal whistleblower law. Contrary to misinformation being spread by policymakers and pundits in the press, there is no whistleblower law that requires the whistleblower to have firsthand knowledge of the wrongdoing for them to be protected against retaliation for having made the disclosure.

In Caught Between Conscience and Career, the book we coauthored with the Government Accountability Project and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, we explain the burden of proof for a whistleblower who wants to disclose a prohibited activity, including a violation of a law, rule or regulation, or abuse of authority…”

NARA’s Record Group Explorer: A New Path into NARA’s Holdings

National Archives: “With billions of pages of records, there’s no question that the holdings of the National Archives are vast. The breadth can be intimidating to researchers and online users, especially first-time users, who may not have familiarity with the organization and management of archival material. One of NARA’s strategic objectives for improving access to… Continue Reading

Government Agrees to Preserve Records of Talks with Foreign Leaders

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Executive Director Noah Bookbinder released the following statement: “Following our request yesterday for a temporary restraining order against President Trump and the Executive Office of the President mandating them to preserve records of the president’s communications and meetings with foreign leaders, the government has agreed to preserve… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court showdown over LGBTQ discrimination, explained

Vox – “The Supreme Court will hear three cases next Tuesday that ask whether it is legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That alone is enough to make them three of the most important employment discrimination cases in many years. But there are additional layers to these cases, layers… Continue Reading

Want to Time Travel Back to the 80s? Visit a Prison “Typing Room”

The Marshall Project – “Most federal prisons have a designated area for inmates to pursue legal work: a legal library/typing room. Though we are in the 21st century and digital tech is everywhere, the Bureau of Prisons, or BOP, is dead set, come hell or high water, on keeping legal libraries/typing rooms firmly lodged in… Continue Reading

Why Vinyl, Books and Magazines Will Never Go Away

Bloomberg: “Vinyl records, paper books, glossy magazines – all should be long dead, but they’re refusing to go away and even showing some surprising growth. It’s probably safe to assume that people will always consume content in some kind of physical shell – not just because we instinctively attach more value to physical goods than to digital ones, but… Continue Reading