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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bmaz From the things "Loretta Lynch will focus on" being leaked by her camp are any indication, she is a horrid nominee for Attorney General.
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bmaz @OKnox Why will the man not describe the sticker further??
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emptywheel FBI's decision to leave torture report unopened suggests decision to pull FBI agents from torture sites in 2002 more abt not seeing crime.
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emptywheel Lalalala! We can't hear you[r report about war cimes!} http://t.co/grxXOu5aej
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bmaz @armandodkos Chait earned that. Nice job by @pareene
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bmaz RT @gideonstrumpet: New blog post: public defender arrested for failing to divulge whereabouts of client - http://t.co/RWEAR4kWyf
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bmaz RT @AP: Los Angeles jury awards $5 million to funk legend Sly Stone in breach-of-contract lawsuit: http://t.co/LSA9yDCZDo
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emptywheel @chomskyfan Let's hope any new mayor doesn't issue any new rules about that.
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bmaz @azatty @ReverendMaupin @azcentral Its rather astounding given the clearly wrongful application of law by Ferrin+abusive attitude displayed.
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bmaz @onekade One of the most pathetically useless "experts" on TV. I have yet to see him say anything intelligent. Ever.
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emptywheel RT @onekade: Former assistant FBI director: Keep Fear Alive. http://t.co/HOUWnI9G5c http://t.co/v8nvLbUQRV
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bmaz @yvonnewingett Interesting. Apparently they didn't care that Ferrin was completely wrong in application of the "laws he was enforcing".
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