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Responsive Documents: CREW: DOJ: OIP 11-6-14

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On February 1, 2013, CREW sent a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) to the U.S. Department of Justice asking for communications between the Department and Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Patrick Leahy, and Sen. Chuck Grassley.
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  U.S. Department of Justice  Office of Information Policy Suite 11050   1425 New York Avenue, NW    Washington, DC 20530-0001   Telephone: (202) 514-3642  November 6, 2014 Ms. Anne Weismann, Esq. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington 1400 Eye Street, NW Suite 450 Washington, DC 20005 Re: OLA/14-01844 (F) aweismann@citizensforethics.org VRB:VAV:GSA Dear Ms. Weismann.: This is an interim response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated February 1, 2013, and received in this Office on February 7, 2013, for communications  between the Department and Representative Lamar Smith, Representative John Conyers, Senator Patrick Leahy, and Senator Chuck Grassley or members of their staff, dating from January 1, 2011. This response is made on behalf of the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA). By letter dated February 13, 2013, we advised you that your request would require a search in another office, i.e. OLA. By e-mail dated May 15, 2014 Douglas Hibbard of this Office contacted you regarding the possibility of narrowing the scope of your request by identifying categories of records of interest to you. Pursuant to your October 2, 2014 phone conversation with Greg Alvarez of this Office, you agreed to exclude constituent correspondence from the scope of your request. Additionally, Mr. Alvarez informed you that we could provide you with previously-processed communications from the Department to Representative Smith and Senator Leahy, and you advised that you would reevaluate the status of this request once you receive and review that material. As discussed, enclosed are 234 pages of material that was located in a search of the electronic database of the Departmental Executive Secretariat, which maintains certain OLA records, including Departmental correspondence. Please be advised, the enclosed material consist of Department cover letters to the above-named Congressmen, excluding any attachments. I have determined that 233 pages are appropriate for release without excision, and that one page is appropriate for release with excisions made pursuant to Exemption 6 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6). Exemption 6 pertains information the release of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of a third party.   -2- Once you have had a chance to review the enclosed material, please contact Greg Alvarez of our Office, at Greg.Alvarez@usdgoj.gov, to further discuss your request. For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See  5 U.S.C. § 552(c) (2006 & Supp. IV 2013). This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA. This is a standard notification that is given to all our requesters and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist. If you are not satisfied with my response to this request, you may administratively appeal by writing to the Director, Office of Information Policy, United States Department of Justice, Suite 11050, 1425 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001, or you may submit an appeal through this Office’s eFOIA portal at  http://www.justice.gov/oip/efoia- portal.html. Your appeal must be received within sixty days from the date of this letter. If you submit your appeal by mail, both the letter and the envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”  Sincerely, Vanessa R. Brinkmann Senior Counsel Enclosure 
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