Melanie Ann Pustay, Deputy Director
Office of Information and Policy
Department of Justice
Suite 570, Flag Building
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
July 21, 2004
Dear Ms. Pustay:
This letter constitutes a request under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. §552, and is submitted on behalf of the Democratic National Committee.
According to recent reporting, an investigation into former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger has been going on for at least nine months, since October 2003. Yet, the criminal investigation only came to light three days prior to the release of a report expected to be critical of the Bush administration's lack of focus on the events leading up to the 9-11 attacks. As conservative scholar Norm Ornstein stated, "you can't look at the timing of this with anything but an enormous amount of skepticism." [CNN, 7/20/04]
In light of the seriousness of the possibility that the Bush administration and the Department of Justice have politicized an ongoing investigation, it is imperative that this Freedom of Information request is responded to in an expedited manner.
Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 and the regulations of the Department of Justice, 28 C.F.R. §16.3, I am requesting copies of the following:
Any and all communications relating or referring to the investigation of Samuel ("Sandy") Berger, between, correspondence (including electronic mail) between, memoranda between, phone records of communications between, meeting notes and/or minutes of meetings between, on the one hand, any official or employee of the US Department of Justice AND, on the other hand, (i) the Executive Office of the President or any unit or office thereof (including but not limited to the Office of the Vice President); (ii) any official, employee, or representative of the Republican National Committee; OR (iii) any official, employee or representative of the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign.
This request covers all documents created during the period from and including October 1, 2003 through and including July 20, 2004.
For your purposes in filling this request, please consider me under the category of "all other organizations," as defined by the Freedom of Information Act. If there are any fees for copying or searching for the records I have requested, please inform me of the cost prior to searching or copying, and only if the total exceeds $100.
If all or any part of this request is denied, please cite the specific exemption which you believe justifies your refusal to release the information and inform me of your agency's administrative appeal procedures available to me under the law.
Please provide all information on a rolling basis if possible. I appreciate your handling of this request as quickly as possible and I look forward to hearing from you within 20 working days, as the law stipulates.
If you have any questions or need further information concerning the above request, please contact me at the address below or at 202-863-8121.
Thank you for your attention to this request.
Terence R. McAuliffe, Chairman
430 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003