EPIC FOIA - Court Concedes Significance of Russia Report, But Fails to Order Disclosure

A federal court in Washington, DC has ruled that the that the Office of Director of National Intelligence may withhold the Complete Assessment of the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, sought by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act. In EPIC v. ODNI, EPIC had argued that the federal agency was required to disclose the document because it contained unclassified information and many of the report's conclusions had been released by the Intelligence Community in a public summary. While the Court acknowledged that "the single document at issue in this Freedom of Information Act suit is of interest to a great many people, both in the United States and abroad" it ruled that "the entire report, even portions of the report that have already been released in a separate document" could be withheld by the agency. EPIC had urged the judge to undertake an independent assessment to determine whether the agency properly asserted classification authority. EPIC v. ODNI is one of four leading FOIA cases seeking public disclosure of details of the Russian interference in the 2016 election. In related FOIA suit EPIC v. FBI, EPIC obtained the FBI's "Victim Notification Procedures" which were the subject of a Congressional hearing earlier this year.

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