Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today announced that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (CV 10-0160)) against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain records related to meetings between Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli and White House officials regarding DOJ’s decision to dismiss its voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense (NBPP). Judicial Watch seeks the following documents through its FOIA request sent on January 19, 2010:
Any and all records of Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli concerning meetings with the White House on the Justice Department’s voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. The time frame for this request is from January 20, 2009 to June 15, 2009.
On March 26, 2010, the DOJ informed Judicial Watch that it had conducted a search for documents, but found “no records responsive to your request.” Judicial Watch appealed the decision on March 31, 2010, based on “various media accounts in which it was reported that Associate Attorney General Perrelli visited the White House on nine occasions between March 25, 2009, and May 27, 2009, to discuss Defendant’s voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party.”
The DOJ was required to make a determination on Judicial Watch’s appeal within 20 working days, or by May 3, 2010. To date, no such determination has been made.