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 Really suspect the quick wave of "W/Houthis in charge Yemen will be great new terrorist front" seeded by govt to create AUMF excuse.
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emptywheel @csoghoian None of the at-risk data described, zero, would be protected under either FBI or NSA minimization procedures.
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emptywheel @csoghoian Given both FBI and NSA don't protect attorney client convos, why would they tell the truth?
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bmaz So @shaneharris is having a AMA on Reddit right now. I asked piercing question about legitimacy of @benjaminwittes drone smackdown strategy
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JimWhiteGNV Surprised the Dow isn't up about 10% today on news Wall Street's bitch Chuck Schumer will replace Reid.
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bmaz RT @shaneharris: My @reddit_ama is beginning. AMA! http://t.co/ERFaOwX4RY
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emptywheel @manish_vij Sure but you can do that w/kohlrabi w/o getting texture of cooked ants. @matthew_d_green @sarahjeong
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bmaz @ThePlumLineGS True, but these things historically are power anointing, so not surprising. I'd like a new Ferrari too!
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bmaz @jaketapper @barbarastarrcnn Yeahhhhh, pretty idiotic plan by Berghdal, even if true.
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bmaz @ThePlumLineGS There was not a chance in hell anybody was going to beat out Schumer anyway; he's been banking chits for years for this day.
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bmaz @OKnox Obama is the first President since Herbert Hoover to not stay at the Arizona Biltmore, and Phoenix is pissed! http://t.co/YUIaCIymEu
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emptywheel @matthew_d_green I think cauliflower boosters should instead pitch kohlrabi @sarahjeong
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