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Coalition of US cities seeks FOIA records on deployment of federal agents under executive order
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Coalition of US cities seeks FOIA records on deployment of federal agents under executive order

A coalition of seven American cities submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request Wednesday to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) for records pertaining to Executive Order 13933 and the deployment of federal agents to US cities.

Executive Order 13933 permits the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security to send federal personnel to “assist with the protection of Federal monuments, memorials, statues, or property.” This order has allowed the president to send agents to American cities including over a hundred agents who clashed with BLM protesters in Portland, Oregon back in June. The coalition seeks to “uncover the true intentions of the federal government’s operations and show that they have no legitimate purpose.”

The seven requesting cities are Oakland, New York, Atlanta, Portland, Chicago, Seattle and Philadelphia. They ask for all records from May 25 to the present. They also ask that they include all records which were revised, revoked, or replaced by records within the timeframe. The records they request are all communications including emails, transcripts of calls, video chats, and text messages regarding the executive order. They are also seeking a fee waiver because the information is “likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of operations or activities of the government” and the public has a significant interest in understanding the authorities under which the federal government operates.

The government will have 20 days to respond at which time the coalition promises to make all information they obtain public.