The FBI has asked a US court to reverse its order that it produce evidence from Seth Rich’s laptop — and if the court does not reverse its order, the FBI is asking for 66 years to produce the information.
The FBI, after claiming it never possessed Rich’s laptop or any information from it, was finally forced to acknowledge in 2020 that it possesses thousands of files from Seth Rich’s laptop.
Seth Rich was a Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in cold blood on a street in Washington in mid-2016. Despite carrying a wallet with cash, cell phone, and an expensive watch, the killers did not take any of his valuables. Nobody has ever been arrested in connection with the murder.
U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, an Obama appointee, ruled in September that the bureau must hand over information from the computer to Brian Huddleston, a Texas man who filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the info.
The FBI’s claim that the privacy interest Rich’s family members hold outweighed the public interest was rejected by the judge, who noted the bureau cited no relevant case law supporting the argument.
But the ruling was erroneous, U.S. lawyers said in a new filing.
The bureau shouldn’t have to produce the information because of FOIA exemptions for information that are compiled for law enforcement purposes and “could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source,” the lawyers said in a motion for reconsideration. Another exemption, which enables agencies to withhold information that would disclose law enforcement techniques also applies, they said.
“Given the Court’s findings that except for the information related to Seth Rich’s laptop withheld pursuant to Exemptions 6 and 7(C) based on privacy interests, the FBI properly withheld or redacted all other information responsive to Huddleston’s requests, the production order seems inconsistent with the rest of the order,” the motion stated.
The bureau “is currently working on getting the files from Seth Rich’s personal laptop into a format to be reviewed,” the government said in 2020.
Epoch Times reports: Information and material extracted from the computer were provided by a source to an FBI agent during a meeting on March 15, 2018, FBI records officer Michael Seidel said in a declaration. He said the files included photographs and documents, among other material.