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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

House Intelligence Committee Releases Draft Report As Part of Impeachment Inquiry

“Today, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the draft report – “The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report” – to all Members and the public. The Committee will vote tonight [the vote was 13-9] to issue the report, before the Chairman of the Committee transmits it and any accompanying materials to the House Judiciary Committee consistent with H.Res. 660…This report reflects the evidence gathered thus far by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in coordination with the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States. The report is the culmination of an investigation that began in September 2019 and intensified over the past three months as new revelations and evidence of the President’s misconduct towards Ukraine emerged.  The Committees pursued the truth vigorously, but fairly, ensuring the full participation of both parties throughout the probe. Sustained by the tireless work of more than three dozen dedicated staff across the three Committees, we issued dozens of subpoenas for documents and testimony and took more than 100 hours of deposition testimony from 17 witnesses.  To provide the American people the opportunity to learn and evaluate the facts themselves, the Intelligence Committee held seven public hearings with 12 witnesses—including three requested by the Republican Minority—that totaled more than 30 hours…”

Archivists Are Trying to Make Sure a ‘Pirate Bay of Science’ Never Goes Down

Vice – A new project aims to make LibGen, which hosts 33 terabytes of scientific papers and books, much more stable. “It’s hard to find free and open access to scientific material online. The latest studies and current research huddle behind paywalls unread by those who could benefit. But over the last few years, two… Continue Reading

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson broadly rejects absolutist claims of executive power

Washington Post: “In her ruling that Don McGahn must comply with a congressional subpoena, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of Washington goes to great lengths to illustrate how far out on a constitutional limb President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have crawled with their absolutist claims of executive power. Jackson invokes “Animal Farm”… Continue Reading

They Toil Gladly Offstage. Impeachment Lands Them in the Spotlight

Mark Leibovich – The New York Times: They Toil Gladly Offstage. Impeachment Lands Them in the Spotlight. “They are, in a sense, the permanent, beating, bipartisan heart of the government of the United States. They are deeply credentialed, polyglot, workaholic and respectful before Congress. They are graduates of Harvard and West Point, and veterans of… Continue Reading

Here’s One Reason the U.S. Military Can’t Fix Its Own Equipment

The New York Times – Opinion: “Manufacturers can prevent the Department of Defense from repairing certain equipment, which puts members of the military at risk…In the United States, conversations about right-to-repair issues are increasing, especially at federal agencies and within certain industries. In July, the Federal Trade Commission hosted a workshop to address “the issues… Continue Reading

Trump ‘Absolutely Immune’ From NY Tax Subpoena, Justices Told

Law360 – “President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to find that he has “absolute immunity” from criminal investigations while president and to block the Manhattan district attorney’s subpoena of tax and financial records from his accounting firm.  The Second Circuit found President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity from state criminal process doesn’t extend… Continue Reading

Strengthening Transparency or Silencing Science? The Future of Science in EPA Rulemaking

National Academies: Committee Member Testifies Before Congress on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science – “David Allison, member of the committee that wrote a 2019 National Academies report on reproducibility and replicability in science, appeared on Nov. 13, 2019 before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on Nov. 13 to discuss the report’s recommendations… Continue Reading

76 things you can do to boost civic engagement

Brookings: “The year 1776 was an auspicious year for democracy. The idea that a people could govern themselves was radical at the time. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that followed are for most Americans revered documents and a cornerstone of our democracy. Over the years, this idea of democratic republicanism has become central… Continue Reading

Local journalism in crisis: Why America must revive its local newsroom

Brookings: “Thousands of local newspapers have closed in recent years. Their disappearance has left millions of Americans without a vital source of local news and deprived communities of an institution essential for exposing wrongdoing and encouraging civic engagement. Of those still surviving, many have laid off reporters, reduced coverage, and pulled back circulation. Over 65… Continue Reading

A Constitutional Right to Public Information

Marzen, Chad G., A Constitutional Right to Public Information (October 19, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3472464 “In the wake of the 2013 United States Supreme Court decision of McBurney v. Young (569 U.S. 221), this Article calls for policymakers at the federal and state levels to ensure governmental records remain open and accessible to the… Continue Reading

Freedom on the Net 2019 The Crisis of Social Media

Freedom House – “Governments around the world are increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year, according to Freedom on the Net 2019, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment… Continue Reading

Publication of Mueller Report’s Secret Memos Begins

“BuzzFeed News sued the US government to see all the work that Mueller’s team kept secret. We have published the first installment, with revelations about the Ukraine conspiracy theory, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and more… In response to a court order, the Justice Department released the first installment of documents: hundreds of pages of summaries… Continue Reading