Judicial Watch Sues DOJ On Behalf of Fast and Furious Whistleblower John Dodson Over Document Stonewalling

Posted: May 30, 2014 8:25 AM

Government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice on behalf of Operation Fast and Furious whistleblower John Dodson after his own FOIA requests were ignored.

In June 2012, Fortune Magazine writer Katherine Eban published a 5,000 word hit-piece on Dodson. The piece was thoroughly denounced by the House Oversight Committee for being grossly false. Dodson sent a letter through his attorney to Fortune Magazine Managing Editor Andrew Serwer demanding a retraction and accused the media outlet of parroting Department of Justice talking points. A reminder:

As you are likely aware, the Justice Department Inspector General has now issued his exhaustive report about Operation Fast and Furious (the “IG Report”). Given its findings, it is clear that Ms. Eban’s purported finding of “the truth” was far from it, and in fact is demonstrably false in many respects. A retraction is in order to correct the record.

Now, Judicial Watch is seeking "any and all emails between (either directed to or received from) DOJ Spokeswoman/Director of Public Affairs Tracy Schmaler and Katherine Eban, between the dates of January 20, 2011 and September 24, 2012." Other information requested in the lawsuit includes:

-All emails (sent and received) by DOJ Spokeswoman/Director of Public Affairs Tracy Schmaler that contain the name John Dodson, Dodson, or make reference to any ATF whistleblower (whether directly stated or implied), between the dates of January 20, 2011 and September 24, 2012.

-All Department of Justice communications generated between January 20, 2010 and September 24, 2012 including, but not limited to, emails, internal memos, letters, drafts, recordings and other documents, which refer to me (Special Agent John Dodson) whether by name or implication, or make reference to me as an ATF whistleblower, whether directly stated or implied. Excluded from this request are my own ATF case files, case documents, and emails from my ATF/DOJ email account.

It has already been reported that during her time at DOJ Schmaler, who has since left her position, abused her authority by regularly working with far left groups to smear whistleblowers like J. Christian Adams of the Black Panther Party case and reporters exposing wrongdoing inside the Department.

Internal Department of Justice emails obtained by The Daily Caller show Attorney General Eric Holder’s communications staff has collaborated with the left-wing advocacy group Media Matters for America in an attempt to quell news stories about scandals plaguing Holder and America’s top law enforcement agency.

Dozens of pages of emails between DOJ Office of Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Media Matters staffers show Schmaler, Holder’s top press defender, working with Media Matters to attack reporters covering DOJ scandals. TheDC obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Dodson initially submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Justice out of suspicion Schmaler may have been working with Eban to leak information about him.

“For almost two years, the Obama Justice Department has stonewalled my efforts to receive information about me,” Dodson said in a statement. “It is disappointing that I have to sue to receive information about how my employer provided personal and confidential information about me to eager reporters willing to tell the administration’s side of the story.”

Dodson was the first whistleblower to go public about Operation Fast and Furious in early 2011 and his life has been hell since. He wrote a book about the scandal, The Unarmed Truth: My Fight to Blow the Whistle and Expose Fast and Furious, which was published late last year.

“It is clear that John Dodson was smeared by DOJ officials for having the courage to be the first whistleblower in the Fast and Furious scandal,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “And it is equally clear that those who attacked him have gone unpunished, despite the disciplinary provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Act. Perhaps once we have the complete records of Ms. Schmaler’s actions, the Office of Special Counsel will do its job and we will finally see justice prevail.”