District of Columbia

Justice search warrant relied on "probable cause" of criminal conduct by Fox News journalist

Rob Tricchinelli | Newsgathering | News | May 22, 2013
May 22, 2013

By labeling a Fox News reporter as a "co-conspirator" to a violation of the Espionage Act, the Department of Justice was able to obtain a secret search warrant in 2010 for the reporter's e-mail, under an exception to the federal statute governing search warrants of the media.

D.C. appeals court issues redacted opinion in sealed corruption case

Rob Tricchinelli | Secret Courts | News | May 16, 2013
May 16, 2013

A federal appeals court unsealed a redacted version of an opinion Thursday in a high-profile but secretive Washington, D.C. corruption case, in response to a letter from the Reporters Committee.

CIA must acknowledge records of drone strike program, appellate court rules

Lilly Chapa | Freedom of Information | News | March 19, 2013
March 19, 2013

The CIA cannot refuse to search for records about U.S. drone strikes on the grounds that acknowledging the existence of the records would harm national security, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. ruled.

FBI to release records on secret informant Ernest Withers

Lilly Chapa | Freedom of Information | News | February 28, 2013
February 28, 2013

As part of a settlement agreement between the FBI and a Tennessee newspaper, the bureau must release documents and photos that are expected to confirm that famed civil rights photographer Ernest Withers was a confidential informant during the civil rights era. Withers died in 2007.

Judge rules D.C. detective was wrongly punished for speaking to reporter

Lilly Chapa | Newsgathering | News | February 14, 2013
February 14, 2013

A Washington, D.C., judge found that the Metropolitan Police Department’s media policy is constitutional, but how the department enforced it against a detective who spoke out against it to a newspaper in 2009 was unlawful.

District Judge James Boasberg ruled that Detective William Hawkins did not break department rules when he talked to a Washington Post reporter because he spoke as a representative of a police union and not a member of the department.

Judge keeps Chandra Levy post-conviction investigation records sealed

Lilly Chapa | Secret Courts | News | February 7, 2013
February 7, 2013

A Washington, D.C. trial judge declined to explain in a hearing Wednesday why he will continue to keep under seal courtroom transcripts and records regarding an investigation into the 2010 trial of the man found guilty of murdering Chandra Levy.

Former CIA officer Kiriakou sentenced to 30 months in prison for leaking information to reporters

Lilly Chapa | Content Regulation | News | January 25, 2013
January 25, 2013

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced today to 2 1/2 years in prison for disclosing an undercover officer’s name to a New York Times reporter in 2007.

Federal judge criticizes immigration agency's response to FOIA request

Monika Fidler | Freedom of Information | News | December 3, 2012
December 3, 2012

Attorneys seeking records from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hope that a strongly worded opinion released recently by a federal judge criticizing the agency for failing to quickly and adequately respond to a federal Freedom of Information Act request will push the agency to change how it responds to other FOIA requests.

Judge orders unsealing of Watergate documents

Lilly Chapa | Freedom of Information | News | November 7, 2012
November 7, 2012

A history professor hopes that a federal court's recent order to release long-sealed Watergate documents will shed light on the motivations behind the infamous 1972 scandal and help set an example for how to unseal court records.

Appeals Court bars First Amendment nonprofit from intervening in Apple-Samsung case

Rob Tricchinelli | Secret Courts | News | September 20, 2012
September 20, 2012

A federal appeals court earlier this week temporarily resealed exhibits and evidence in a legal battle over smart phones and tablets, staying a trial judge’s order that certain records be released to the public. The court also denied an advocacy group’s attempt to intervene and keep the records open on appeal.

In the highly publicized patent litigation between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., news organization Reuters America LLC had filed a motion asking the trial court to unseal certain evidence and trial exhibits.