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

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel And if you don't like all that and talk about it 10 years in the pokey for you.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel And that "amicus" has to do what the FISC says. FISC: Argue for retention. Steven Bradbury: OK, Boss.
5mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel But if I'm reading this right, when Apple challenges having to retain iMessage data, FISC can put THEIR OWN amicus to argue for Apple.
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel The Judge appointed by John Roberts (Bates) wrote wish list for "amicus" that may deprive providers of their own lawyers, right to challenge
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emptywheel @englishm_ 1AM vote.
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Also, someone call @steve_vladeck (who I don't THINK is at reunion this weekend like I should be) so he can rip this amicus to shreds.
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emptywheel @PGEddington The White House runs the IC? This is a new development, no? @joanneleon
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emptywheel Another name for this bill: The American High Tech Destruction Act.
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bmaz Well that narrows it down https://t.co/Tsp19ntIab
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emptywheel @PGEddington I disagree. This is 1) what the goal has been all along 2) what NSA needs to be able to do what they want. @joanneleon
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emptywheel Someone also call @MJZwills (if he wasn't already called as a VZ or Apple lawyer) bc this MAY try to replace provider lawyers a/amicus.
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Burr's bill strongly suggests there have been 702 violations (which USA F-ReDux already did, gently, but this does more aggressively).
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January 2013
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