by WorldTribune Staff, January 23, 2018
The Department of Justice has refused to release the proposed budget for special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, according to a government watchdog group which sought the records via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
The DOJ, in notifying Judicial Watch on Jan. 19, said “We have determined that this material should be withheld in full because it is protected from disclosure under the FOIA.”
The DOJ said the release of Mueller’s budget information could interfere with “law enforcement proceedings” and the material is protected from disclosure by the “deliberative process privilege.”
“Special Counsel Mueller’s operation is not above the law,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The American people have a right to know how much taxpayer money is planned for his massive investigation.”
A previously published document sent by the DOJ to Judicial Watch shows expenditures by the Special Counsel’s Office from May 17, 2017 to September 30, 2017 totaled $3,213,695.
In its FOIA lawsuit, Judicial Watch requested:
- A copy of the budget prepared and submitted by Mueller or his staff.
- A copy of all guidance memoranda and communications by which the Justice Management Division will review the Special Counsel’s Office’s “Statement of Expenditures”.
- A copy of each document scoping, regulating, or governing the Special Counsel’s Office appointed under the leadership of Mueller.
“No one else in D.C. seems to be providing oversight of the Mueller operation, so once again it is up to the citizen’s group Judicial Watch to go to fight for accountability,” Fitton said.