For over two years I have been trying to obtain documents that might shed light upon the allegations of Shailey Tripp that Todd Palin was her pimp, that he introduced her to David Chaney who was the Secret Service agent involved with prostitutes in Colombia. He was also the agent assigned to guard Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign.
Shiley Tripp advised DHS that Mr. Chaney did come to her for services, and she provided them for money, albeit less than he promised to pay. When Mark Sullivan, the then director of the Secret Service, testified that the Colombia incident was an isolated event, and not evidence of a culture of corruption, that was contrary to the statement given by Shailey Tripp to Merek Shaffer. That led to my request for documents in June of 2012. I have been trying diligently ever since to obtain the documents.
Over the past few months, I have undertaken to locate and retain counsel to proceed with suit against DHS to require production of the documents requested. I have retained attorneys in Dallas, and we were close to being ready to file suit. I received this e-mail yesterday from Kristen Teal of DHS.
Yesterday, November 19, 2014, DHS OIG received your letter dated November 10, 2014, referencing our first interim response and requesting production of additional records associated with your FOIA request 2014-123.
Following your discussion with me on July 1, 2014, we issued you a first interim response on August 26, 2014. In our conversation, I asked you to review the records that we had already posted online, which contains all complaints we have received against the US Secret Service (USSS) from 2003 until the date that data was run, 5/21/2012. It also includes one investigation report and two inspection reports which are responsive to your request. I asked you to review the complaints and additional reports, and advise if those records would satisfy a portion of your request. I also asked what, if any, complaints you were interested in receiving additional information on. To this date, you have not contacted me regarding this. Because this list contains all complaints we have received, we need you to specify which complaints you are seeking information on, as not all of those complaints are responsive to your request for specific allegations made against the USSS.
In our call, I also advised that I would run an additional search for complaints we had received from that date to present, tailored to your specified allegations. We conducted a search for those complaints, but are in the process of obtaining additional information from our program offices before being able to process and release those records. As explained in our acknowledgement letter dated June 18, 2014, we currently have a large backlog of requests. We are trying to respond to all our requesters in a fair and timely fashion in the order the requests are received. However, we anticipate being able to release these records to you by early December.
Please let me know if you have questions regarding this.
FOIA/PA Disclosure Specialist
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Office of Inspector General
Office of Counsel
The following is my response.
Dear Ms. Teal,
I am copying my attorneys on this response. Their addresses are above and would ask that in the future any correspondence to me be copied to them also.
As a point of clarification, when we spoke in July, you agreed to send me a list of the type of documents that exist that were responsive to my request, other than those I had already seen which were posted on line. I never received anything from you , which has been typical of the lack of response I have received from the DHS.
So there is no misunderstanding, I am requesting ALL documents responsive to my requests. If you want me to narrow the requests, it is necessary for you to specify what documents you have, and what documents you are willing and able to produce. I am unwilling to limit my request when I don’t know what you have, and what you are willing to produce. To tell me that you have a “large backlog of requests” is not helpful. The documents in question have been the subject of FOIA requests that have been pending for over two years and I still have virtually NO documents.
You have indicated that you are trying to respond to all requesters in a “fair and timely” fashion. I can’t imagine how you consider two and one-half years a “fair and timely” fashion. Nevertheless, if you are able to give me a date certain, by which I will receive responsive documents, and you agree not to assert any objections to producing documents, I am willing to refrain from filing a law suit in which I would ask the Court to award me my attorney fees. If however you are unable or unwilling to provide a date certain in early December, I am unwilling to wait any longer. Once again, I implore you not to mislead me or promise to produce responsive documents when the DHS has no intention of producing the documents that are responsive to multiple requests. I have already incurred substantial attorney fees as a result of preparing the suit papers that I planned to file next week.
I was previously advised that documents responsive to my requests would be produced. Then, inexplicably, I was advised within a matter of days, that the documents would not be produced due to “ongoing enforcement proceedings.” Now almost two years later, it appears that there were no “ongoing enforcement proceedings.” I still do not have the documents that I requested. I am unaware of any enforcement proceedings that have been filed.
Thousands of people read my blog every day, and they, along with me, are waiting for the production of these documents. Citizens have a right to know what documents exist. Time is of the essence. We have waited long enough. I have been patient long enough. I have tried to avoid an unnecessary law suit, but if you fail to produce these documents, once again, you leave me no choice. I am willing to wait one more time, if you are willing to provide a date certain in early December when the responsive documents will be produced. Be assured that if you are unwilling to provide a date by which the documents will be produced, I will proceed with the suit, and will ask the Court to award any attorneys fees incurred. Further, if you promise to produce documents by a date in “early December” please understand that I will hold you to that date, and will accept no excuses or objections that might be made later.
It is my sincere hope that a suit can be avoided.
I will advise you of any response I receive from Ms. Teal. I will wait until after Thanksgiving to file suit, as I would like to ensure that I have done everything a judge might expect in order to avoid incurring attorneys fees, and wasting time of the Court.