(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) for records of requests by former Vice President Joe Biden and other top Obama administration officials, including President Obama’s chief of staff, to “unmask” Lieutenant General (Retired) Michael Flynn (Judicial Watch v. National Security Agency (No. 1:20-cv-03088)). The term “unmasking” refers to the practice of disclosing to political appointees the identities of U.S. citizens referenced in intelligence surveillance of foreign nationals. U.S. citizens’ names are typically redacted from such reports unless a specific request is made to “unmask” them.
Judicial Watch filed this lawsuit after the NSA failed to respond to two separate September 1, 2020 FOIA requests.
The first request seeks “records about a January 12, 2017, request to ‘unmask’ Lieutenant General Flynn submitted to NSA by or on behalf of then-Vice President Joe Biden.”