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

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Et tu Vicente Fox?? https://t.co/dT5UfC0ICJ
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JimWhiteGNV RT @mycbs4alicia: It's a full house for the swearing in ceremony for Lauren Poe and Adrian Hayes-Santos @mycbs4 https://t.co/1A1fJxoW5Z
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bmaz @ScottGreenfield @clsesq Well, I'm a dick, and I am here....
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bmaz @ScottGreenfield @clsesq You are citing me shit from 2 days ago regarding courts here on this?? Grrrr, let me go find it for you......
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bmaz @ScottGreenfield @clsesq There are now no charges as far as I am aware.
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bmaz @ScottGreenfield @clsesq Uh, this was a function of cops. The felony prosecutor declined+sent back to city for misd, which then declined.
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JimWhiteGNV Feliz Cinco de Taquito! https://t.co/6tWRTSXNin
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bmaz @veroderugy @normative In Senate?? He has 6 months left+never did anything there to start with. Prob unelectable at this point.
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bmaz Though, honestly, not sure Castro or Kaine as VP running mate is overall any better ideologically than now declared Trump supporter Sandoval
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bmaz So maybe the suggestion that Clinton tab Sandoval as a "unity" choice for VP was a little off base... https://t.co/XyjR2zu7XZ
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