2016 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt sues Obama administration to obtain documents about Guantanamo plans

Release Date: Jul 22, 2016

TOPEKA - (July 22, 2016) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today sued the U.S. Department of Defense for failing to produce records related to plans and preparations for transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Fort Leavenworth.

In December 2015, Schmidt filed requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act for records related to federal preparations for a detainee transfer. The Defense Department acknowledged it possessed some of the records and initially said it would provide them by April 15, 2016. But it later missed that deadline, claiming the records could not be released without further “consultation.” The new date by which the department has promised to provide the records is November 15, just after the presidential election.

“The Obama administration now claims it will not transfer detainees to the mainland, but we want to verify this claim because it appears the administration previously violated a federal ban on even preparing for such a transfer,” Schmidt said. “Our concerns are heightened because the administration admits it has the records we requested and initially promised to produce them but now are inexplicably dragging their feet until after the November election. We are seeking some court-ordered sunshine now to discourage mischief later in the final weeks before the president leaves office."

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Kansas, seeks a court order that the administration immediately produce the documents it admits possessing and promptly find and release any other relevant documents it possesses.

The case is State of Kansas, ex rel. Derek Schmidt v. United States Department of Defense, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Case No. 16-cv-04127.

A copy of the lawsuit is here: http://bit.ly/29YF87j.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.