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 @ScottGreenfield "The law professor in the Think Progress blog was totally correct." Oh yeah, like that is fucking credible.
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bmaz @ddayen Well, compared to Loretta Lynch, he surely is.
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bmaz @KellyFlood3 @DanCBarr My own little picture for posterity. Arpaio's look was priceless.
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bmaz @DanCBarr Mike Manning still loves his cash cow! http://t.co/Oi7Redxw1r
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bmaz Tony Blair to join McCain at Sedona Forum 2015 http://t.co/vtNulbBl6z Jeebus, what is Sheldon Whitehouse doing at this? Cc: @emptywheel
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bmaz @benwizner @realDonaldTrump Go stand in the corner Ben
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bmaz @johnsonr Ilya Kuryakin!
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bmaz RT @DanCBarr: @bmaz Yep. The only thing truly shocking about Arpaio's testimony is that there people who are shocked and surprised.
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bmaz @DanCBarr 22+ years. It started first looking suspect about 60-90 days in. Though public first really started catching on w/Norberg death.
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bmaz RT @emptywheel: Government’s Own Witness Debunks Government’s “Overwrought Hyperbole” in Sterling Case https://t.co/kJ4tJAAUw0
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bmaz RT @eggsandbread: how to sneak chocolate undetected into a US cinema http://t.co/GkBNQFAUV8
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bmaz @ErinatTheSun Didn't think so. So why would anybody ever file in state court then??
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