A federal judge in October ordered the Justice Department to turn over notes from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by CNN and BuzzFeed. The deadline to comply with the order was Jan. 17. Included in the the information to be released were notes taken when FBI agents interviewed a series of potential witnesses or suspects. But when the information was turned over, one big item was missing—the notes on interviews with Jared Kushner.
Now, according to CNN, the Department of Justice is saying that an unnamed intelligence agency is reviewing the information on Kushner’s interview, and that the notes will eventually be released, “with the appropriate redactions.” How much will be left, and when those lines will appear, is still unknown.
Somehow the DOJ managed to produce notes on interviews with Paul Manafort, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and other Trump associates questioned with regard to the Russian collusion scheme, and to do so by the court-mandated deadline. It’s just the notes on Kushner that are still missing in action.
All of the information that has been produced to date has included redactions, since the FBI and other agencies look for information that might reveal sources or methods, mentions of individuals not associated with the case, and information related to any ongoing investigations and trials. The releases, which have come in stages starting in November, have coughed up hundreds of pages. More information is slated for release in February.
But it’s notable that it’s only the Kushner notes that didn’t make it by the court-ordered deadline, and the DOJ seems pretty content to be in violation of the law. It’s given no date on which the information will be complete. Some of this information has been reviewed by the House in closed session—but even that material was redacted, and none of it has been made public.
On Tuesday evening, the Office of Management and Budget responded to FOIA lawsuits over information related to the withholding of Ukraine military assistance by releasing over 100 pages of emails. However, those emails were so redacted that every line of substantive information was removed.