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FOIA Junkie Jason Leopold Talks About His Capitol Hill Testimony

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Investigative reporter Jason Leopold, now with VICE news, returns to talk about his testimony to a House committee on FOIA, and some of his recent reports.

Leopold gave important testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform committee on June 3, and in this in-depth interview, he recaps his appearance and the comments he made regarding needed reforms to the Freedom of Information Act.

Update 6.12.15  VICE has just posted a video recap of Leopold’s House committee appearance, here.

Leopold, a frequent filer under FOIA, explains that many agencies fail to comply with the law, and delay responses or refuse to provide documents.  He cites a bizarre exchange with Justice Dept. lawyers representing a Pentagon group whose reports are not secret–he was told they would give him some of their reports if he would promise never to ask them again.

He also describes his time-sensitive request for documents related to Loretta Lynch; even though her confirmation for Attorney General was delayed for 6 months, the materials were not released before she was confirmed.

We also discuss his recent story on the McCain Feinstein amendment to ban torture, which has no enforcement mechanism or penalties for violations.  We talk about his big scoop on the number of documents the government estimates were taken by Ed Snowden, including 900,000 files from the Pentagon.

We discuss the reaction to the recent report by Seymour Hersh on the Abbottobad raid and also talk about Leopold’s report on the killing of American Samir Khan, based on FOIA-released FBI documents.