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Attorney General Gonzales Says He’ll Review Ashcroft FOIA Memo

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  1. Freedom of Information
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Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in an interview with the Associated Press that he would “go back and take a look” at the FOIA guidance memorandum his predecessor sent to federal agencies directing them to tighten restrictions on public access to government information. Shortly after 9/11, then AG John Ashcroft said agencies should withhold information if there is any legal basis for doing so, and Justice would defend their decisions. Previously, Justice Department guidelines had been to release information, even if it fell within an exemption, if doing so would cause no harm. (7/27/05)