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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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Huh. USG has decided to get rid of the machines running Windows 98. https://t.co/4WFmFUhfza
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JimWhiteGNV @astepanovich On both levels. I just can't help myself. And they can't either...
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JimWhiteGNV To be called the Office of Privacy Prevention, I presume. https://t.co/s9pdJIxzOv
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JimWhiteGNV Obama promised to pursue Wall Street crimes. Nobody jailed. In primaries, remember that what candidates say now means fuck all later.
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JimWhiteGNV Obama promised to end torture, got App M. Promised to close Gitmo; still open. Promised to end wars; troops still in Afgh, back in Iraq.
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JimWhiteGNV US to deploy hundreds of troops in Afghanistan to thwart Taliban https://t.co/1d8zazNmI7 It won't work. Again.
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JimWhiteGNV Today we are all Fat. Let the good times roll.
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emptywheel "And they're off!"
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bmaz @DougKahn I don't go there often either, every now and then from a Twitter link. It is just a hot mess of bullshit mostly
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bmaz @DougKahn Daily Kos
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bmaz @DougKahn Deal. It's been too long.
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