The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) continues its legal fight against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)—to obtain Nashville shooter Audrey Hale’s manifesto—by filing a motion for summary judgment in federal court in Nashville. Hale’s motivations for the March 27 attack remain unknown to the public, and the FBI is illegally concealing the information in violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Dan Lennington, stated, “Transparency is the key to accountable government. The FBI unfortunately is resisting its legal obligations under FOIA, and we now have asked the court to order the release of the manifesto. We are happy to represent hardworking journalists that want to report on what happened and how we can make our schools safer.”
Background: WILL client The Star News Network is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and continues to investigate the motivation of the shooter and the FBI’s refusal to disclose important information. On April 20, 2023, Kittle requested a copy of the manifesto from the FBI through a formal FOIA request. FOIA requires federal agencies to provide access to all “records promptly available to any person [making the request],” subject to certain exceptions.
On April 24, Kittle provided additional information to the FBI, explaining the urgency of the request, but then FBI officials denied this request on April 25. That same day, on behalf of The Star News Network, WILL filed an expedited administrative appeal challenging the FBI’s actions. The FBI denied the request and WILL then appealed to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)—a preliminary step required by federal law. On May 5, President Biden’s DOJ denied the appeal and affirmed the FBI’s decision, which triggered WILL’s federal lawsuit.
WILL is now filing for summary judgment. The FBI’s blatant refusal to release the manifesto is a violation of the law, and restrains the public’s right to know what happened and how we can keep our schools safe.