Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has united with Judicial Watch to launch “a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking “any and all records” relating to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background checks and other records on the award-winning correspondent.”
Judicial Watch issued a press release which explained why the suit was filed:
According to documents obtained last month by Judicial Watch in a separate lawsuit, the DOJ and the White House targeted the former CBS correspondent as a result of her investigations into the growing Operation Fast and Furious scandal. In an October 4, 2011, email to White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz, Attorney General Eric Holder’s top press aide, Tracy Schmaler, described Attkisson as “out of control.” Schmaler added ominously, “I’m also calling Sharryl’s [sic] editor and reaching out to Scheiffer” (an apparent reference to CBS’ Chief Washington Correspondent and Face the Nation moderator Bob Scheiffer). Schultz responded, “Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG.”
The release reports that the lawsuit was filed two weeks ago and includes a statement from Ms. Attkisson:
“I am pleased to once again partner with Judicial Watch, which is unmatched in terms of success in litigating Freedom of Information claims against the federal government, whether under Bush or Obama,” added Sharyl Attkisson. “That I’ve had to sue to get my own FBI file is concerning. This administration has a terrible record in respecting the First Amendment rights of journalists.”
The FBI FOIA lawsuit is not the first collaborative effort between Judicial Watch and Attkisson. In August 2014, Judicial Watch teamed with Attkisson file a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain records pertaining to the failed roll-out of President Obama’s health care law.
In her book Stonewalled Ms. Attkisson revealed how says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed, her computer was bugged by the government.
“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying. She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.
Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.” The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel. The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts. “The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.” This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. Attkisson says her source — identified only as “Number One” — told her the spying was most likely not court-authorized because it went on far longer than most legal taps.
Ms Attkisson even posted a video of her computer being hacked (see above). The source also reported to Attkisson the government planted three classified documents that were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”
“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.
With the lawsuit, Sharyl Attkisson will once again expose the roadblocks to the truth the “most transparent” administration in histor places in front of those reporters who actually do their jobs.