John Cornyn Asks Eric Holder if Aaron Swartz Prosecuted because of FOIA Requests

John Cornyn just sent a letter to Eric Holder asking a series of questions about the Aaron Swartz prosecution. (h/t Julian Sanchez) Many of them are utterly appropriate coming from a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee: why Carmen Ortiz said the prosecution was “appropriate,” whether DOJ’s prior investigations, plural, of Swartz had had an influence on their conduct, why Ortiz filed the superseding indictment. Kudos to Cornyn for conducting oversight, as intended.

But here’s a question I didn’t expect, the second of seven questions.

Second, was the prosecution of Mr. Swartz in any way retaliation for his exercise of his rights as a citizen under the Freedom of Information Act? If so, I recommend that you refer the matter immediately to the Inspector General.

It’s one thing to ask whether Swartz was targeted–and he appears to have been–for his advocacy on Open Access and Internet freedom.

But to ask whether this was retaliation for his use of FOIA? As far as I know, only Jason Leopold and I have even looked at his FOIAs in relation to his prosecution, and only for insight onto how he responded to it.

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emptywheel @JasonLeopold Think of all the climate change resilience they could have bought instead.
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emptywheel @michaelwhitney Yes, well, expecting to see Brownies. And did you miss Watkins? Or just figure he'll be ouchy?
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emptywheel @gtlabsrat Well at least that means construction is mostly done, right? That's not true here--it just goes on and on and on till snow falls.
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emptywheel @michaelwhitney No credit for that. More impressed you haven't drafted a Brownie, on logic you seem to be drafting Rust Bowl dream team.
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bmaz @SuzanneTwoTon When I have had a couple of these sandwiches, I will be Hunka Hunka Burnin Love.
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bmaz @Mommeefit Badges? We don't need no stinkin fitness tracker badges!! My wife has a Fit Bit or whatever; she suggested this!
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JimWhiteGNV RT @GatorZoneScott: Bianchi: Reporter wrongly branded for asking dumbest Super Bowl question ever passes away http://t.co/Ktc3Homkzl
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emptywheel @p2wy See! You're younger than Bill and/or Ted. @DTab224 @MichiganHist
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emptywheel @p2wy That made me swing wildly between feeling young and old all day. @DTab224 @MichiganHist
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emptywheel @p2wy Are YOU younger than Keanu Reeves? He turned 50 today. @DTab224 @MichiganHist
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emptywheel RT @MicahZenko: According to new DOD report, for every troop in country, add a contractor (http://t.co/qSJ6Z1gHi0): So 1,000 US troops in I…
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