A decision made by the upper echelon of the FBI is leaving people on both sides of the political aisle scratching their hands.
Citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Bureau announced, for the time being, it would not accept electronically-submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
While COVID-19 has led to widespread school, restaurant, and bar closings, few expected electronic requests for FBI documents would be affected.
They are pathogen-free after all.
Per Fox News:
“Due to the emerging COVID-19 situation, the FBI is not accepting electronic Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests or sending out electronic responses through the eFOIPA portal at this time. You may still submit a FOIPA request via standard mail. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding,” a red-bolded disclaimer stated on the FBI website.
The sudden halt of electronic FOIA requests sparked puzzled reactions on social media.
“This is crazy but, then again, FBI and FOIA is a disastrous combo,” BuzzFeed senior investigative Jason Leopold tweeted.
“The FBI is responding to coronavirus by using it as an opportunity to kill off journalists who really want transparency. Even for the FBI, this is pretty FBI,” Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel wrote.
This is crazy but then again FBI and FOIA is a disastrous combo
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) March 18, 2020
The FBI is responding to coronavirus by using it as an opportunity to kill off journalists who really want transparency. Even for the FBI, this is pretty FBI. https://t.co/GFOcqNitiZ
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) March 18, 2020
As of this article’s publication, the Justice Department has not responded to requests for comment.