Judge Orders DHS to Provide More Info

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security to give a reporter more information about the alleged sexual abuse of young swimmers.
     Freelance reporter Irving Muchnick sued the DHS in July 2015 under the Freedom of Information Act, claiming it released only four of 102 pages responsive to his records request.
     Muchnick sought documents on the visa application and green card files of George Gibney, an Irish national “who reportedly sexually abused numerous young aquatic athletes in Ireland and other countries but who was granted permission to enter and reside in the United States.”
     U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer denied the government’s motion for summary judgment on Feb. 24.
     He found that the DHS Vaughn Index justifying withholding of documents “largely fails” to describe the documents’ contents to the extent possible, nor did DHS provide a “particularized exemption” of why each document falls within the claimed exemption.
     The index is therefore deficient under Ninth Circuit case law, Breyer wrote.
     He also rejected the government’s “sweeping claim” that none of the information in the documents at issue contains any information that is reasonably segregable from exempt information. He ordered the DHS to submit an adequate Vaughn Index within 60 days.
     Neither side’s counsel immediately responded to an email request for comment on Friday.

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