Mar 07 2013
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown, the US government launched a vast investigation, but it still doesn’t want you to know the details of what it found.
In January 2011, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) created by Congress put out its final report. But it only released a portion of all the source documents it scoured, so last year the government accountability group Cause of Action filed a lawsuit seeking the release of those documents, including emails, memoranda, and draft reports. Last week, the DC district court announced it was dismissing the case. But it’s not over yet: COA vowed on Tuesday that it will appeal the decision. In a statement, the group said the judge’s ruling that the documents were not subject to the Freedom of Information Act was “a misapplication of the law,” and said that “COA will continue to fight to shed light on the workings of our government.”
The FCIC was created in 2009 and given an $8 million budget and a lot of power to subpoena witnesses and documents, and give whistleblower protections to those who would come forward with information. The commission was also plagued by partisan division. Its final report in 2011 faulted failures in financial regulation, excessive borrowing, a lack of transparency, and risky investments, among other causes—but Republicans on the committee put out their own conflicting report. Meanwhile, the commission said it could not release all related documents but vowed that they “will eventually be made public through the National Archives and Records Administration.” (Which has yet to happen.)