Secrecy & Leaks

Laura Poitras/Praxis Films / Ben Balter (background)

As long as there are governments, there will be government secrets—and there will also be leakers and whistleblowers. Recent high profile disclosures by Private Chelsea Manning and former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have renewed national discussion of the proper limits of American intelligence authorities and the proper limits of secrecy. They have reinvigorated also the debate over what tools prosecutors and agencies ought to use in identifying and prosecuting those who violate government confidences.

Latest in Secrecy & Leaks

Federal Law Enforcement

The Durham Investigation Is Not About the Steele Dossier

A letter this week from two Republican House members to John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, revealed that the lawyer for former FBI General Counsel James Baker had said that Baker could not answer certain questions during his congressional testimony because Baker was the subject of a criminal investigation into leaks being conducted by Durham.

Donald Trump

Document: Don't Take Trump's Tweets Literally, Justice Department Argues

The Department of Justice submitted an unusual court filing in litigation over the release of the Carter Page FISA, arguing that the president's statements on Twitter concerning the Page FISA should not be assumed to be accurate or based on the president's personal knowledge of the underlying issue. The document, which was filed on Nov. 30 and first flagged by USA Today reporter Brad Heath, is available here and below.

Federal Law Enforcement

Documents: Statement of Offense and Plea Agreement for James Wolfe

In June, a grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted former Senate intelligence committee security director James Wolfe on three counts of making false statements to federal investigators. On Monday, Wolfe assented to a plea agreement with the Justice Department, pleading guilty to one of those counts.

Secrecy & Leaks

Jaworski Road Map to be Mostly Unsealed

One month ago, the three of us filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for the release of the so-called “Watergate Road Map”—one of the last great still-secret Watergate documents. Last week, Chief Judge Beryl Howell, acting in a separate case, ordered the document’s release.

Federal Law Enforcement

Oral Argument Summary: McKeever v. Sessions

On Sept. 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in McKeever v. Sessions. Judge Douglas Ginsburg, Judge Sri Srinivasan, and Judge Gregory Katsas reviewed the D.C. District Court’s denial of Stuart McKeever’s petition for the release of records of a grand jury investigation into the 1956 disappearance of Columbia University professor Jesus Galindez.

Secrecy: FOIA

A Meta-FOIA Request: How Did the Postal Service Release a Congressional Candidate’s SF-86?

This past Tuesday, congressional candidate and former CIA officer Abigail Spanberger announced that her political opponents appeared to have acquired a copy of her SF-86, a form used by the federal government to collect sensitive personal information from job applicants for background checks and security clearances.

Secrecy & Leaks

Document: Unsealed 1999 Special Master’s Report on Starr Investigation Leaks

At the order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the National Archives and Records Administration has unsealed the 1999 special master's report on possible leaks from the independent counsel's office in the Starr investigation. The report is available here and below.

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