Judicial Watch announced that it filed an opposition to the U.S. Capitol Police’s (USCP) effort to shut down Judicial Watch’s federal lawsuit for January 6 videos and emails. Through its police department, Congress argues that the videos and emails are not public records, there is no public interest in their release, and that “sovereign immunity” prevents citizens from suing for their release.
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit under the common law right of access after the Capitol Police refused to provide any records in response to a January 21, 2021, request (Judicial Watch v. United States Capitol Police (No. 1:21-cv-00401)). Judicial Watch asks for:
- Email communications between the U.S. Capitol Police Executive Team and the Capitol Police Board concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021.
- Email communications of the Capitol Police Board with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021through January 10, 2021.
- All video footage from within the Capitol between 12 pm and 9 pm on January 6, 2021
Congress exempts itself from the Freedom of Information Act. Judicial Watch, therefore, brought its lawsuit under the common law right of access to public records. In opposing the broad assertion of secrecy, Judicial Watch details Supreme Court and other precedent that upholds the public’s right to know what “their government is up to:”