The article reports:
Intelligence officials can selectively release classified information to trusted journalists while withholding the same information from other citizens who request it through open records laws, CIA lawyers argued Wednesday.
That is simply an amazing statement. If the journalists receive the information, isn’t the public also entitled to see it?
The article states:
The case stems from lawsuit against the CIA by New York-based independent journalist Adam Johnson, who had used FOIA to obtain emails between the agency’s public information office and selected reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and The New York Times. The emails the CIA provided to Johnson were redacted, leading him to question why he was not allowed to see the same information that had been given to uncleared reporters.
Johnson challenged the redaction in court, arguing that the CIA, once it has selectively disclosed information to uncleared reporters, cannot claim the same information is protected by a FOIA exemption.
…“In this case, CIA voluntarily disclosed to outsiders information that it had a perfect right to keep private,” she wrote. “There is absolutely no statutory provision that authorizes limited disclosure of otherwise classified information to anyone, including ‘trusted reporters,’ for any purpose, including the protection of CIA sources and methods that might otherwise be outed.
MacMahon also said it didn’t matter if the journalists in question published the information they received, only if the CIA waived its right to deny the information.
As President Trump continues to drain the swamp, hopefully one of the things his administration will look at is the practice of classifying information that Washington agencies don’t want the public to see for reasons other than national security. It is amazing how much material has come to light recently that was classified only for political reasons–it revealed nefarious activities on the part of the government.