An investigative reporter and a PhD candidate at MIT filed a lawsuit against several U.S. spy agencies for their failure to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for details about Russian interference with the presidential election. Senior investigative reporter for Vice News Jason Leopold and his partner in FOIA activism, MIT PhD candidate Ryan Shapiro, filed their suit Tuesday.
The suit names the director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, the CIA, and the Department of Homeland Security. The lawsuit asks for information that spy agencies provided to Congress regarding Russian hackers' interference in the U.S. election.
Leopold tells Complex that the CIA in particular needs to back up the claims they've made about Russian interference. "The CIA has made explosive claims about Russia's alleged interference in the election," he said. "It is crucial that the public have access to any records in the possession of the CIA or other intelligence agencies to support these claims, many of which are attributed to anonymous officials."
The Hill reports that Leopold and Shapiro originally made a request to the agencies on Dec. 14, requesting copies of Electoral College communications (both to and from electors), communications to and from conference, the DNC, the RNC, and the Trump and Clinton campaigns that reference Russian interference, among other information related to interference with the election.
Vice News and Shapiro teamed together to sue the FBI and demand "the bureau release records related to its curious disclosures, behind-the-scenes actions, and apparent leaks in the days leading up to the U.S. presidential election," according to a Dec. 13 piece written by Leopold.
Shapiro and fellow government transparency advocate Jeffrey Light are raising funds for lawsuits to be filed under the Donald Trump administration through a GoFundMe account that has raised over $33,000 to date.