DOJ Continues Its “Multi-Subject” Investigation of WikiLeaks

As I noted some weeks ago, the judge in EPIC’s FOIA for materials on the investigation into supporters of WikiLeaks asked for an update. The government provided that update last night.

It said it still must withhold all documents responsive to EPIC’s FOIA because two investigations pertaining to WikiLeaks are ongoing: Chelsea Manning’s appeal, and the investigation into WikiLeaks proper.

There are at least two separate categories of “enforcement proceedings” relevant to defendants’ Exemption 7(A) analysis, and those two separate categories of law enforcement proceedings are progressing on different tracks. One set consists of those enforcement proceedings directly related to the military prosecution of Army Pfc. Manning, which falls within the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (“DoD”). Since this case was originally briefed, Manning was tried and convicted by a military court, as noted above. The court-martial remains ongoing, in the appellate phase.

The second type of enforcement proceeding, generally, is the DOJ’s civilian criminal/national security investigation(s) into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information that was published on the WikiLeaks website. The investigation of the unauthorized disclosure is a multi-subject investigation and is still active and ongoing. While there have been developments in the investigation over the last year, the investigation generally remains at the investigative stage. It is this second category of enforcement proceeding that is actually more central to defendants’ Exemption 7(A) withholdings in this case.

Note, DOJ says the investigation is “multi-subject.” Further, it describes it as an “civilian criminal/national security” investigation. It’s worth noting that the sealed declaration providing more detail on the investigation comes from Mark Bradley, in DOJ’s National Security Division, not from FBI. (I take my observation that the sealed declaration is from Bradley back: the motion is inconsistent on whom the sealed declaration is from. While the table on page 4 lists Bradley, it says the declaration is from FBI. The reference to a fourth declaration from David Hardy on page 9 suggests the declaration is from him.)

I’ll have a bit more to say about this later.

Update: One more observation: the description says there are “at least two” separate categories, suggesting there may be still another investigative matter.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @dnvolz I think FISC. The detasking probably involves NSA people and AT&T people who don't have enough power to demand their weekend.
emptywheel @dnvolz That's 116 minutes away, McConnell.
emptywheel Sanders calling for a review of impact of surveillance.
emptywheel Bernie Sanders talking about badass librarians on the floor now.
emptywheel RT @onekade: Cops aren't likely to drop prosecution of people accused of shooting a cop, so we might have a stingray challenge! https://t.c…
emptywheel @Seamusin_Reilly He more so than I.
emptywheel @Seamusin_Reilly 87% Irish descent, and an Irish citizen via my Offaly spouse.
emptywheel McConnell deserves to be commended for making GOP-led House look competent by comparison w/Senate under his leadership. Takes some doing.
emptywheel @davidgreene Senate rushes POTUS autopen to sign from (where is he, Hawaii) and DOJ includes all the OTHER Boasberg has required w/new law?
emptywheel BREAKING: Mitch McConnell has missed first big deadline to Keep the Country Safe™ he faced as Majority Leader.
emptywheel Sen will not START voting on PATRIOT F-ReDux until after FISC has closed up shop for night, meaning they will have ALREADY missed deadline
emptywheel @dnvolz DId he say what time? Presumably after FISC closes up shop for the evening?
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