100reporters LLC v. United States Department of Justice

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 100REPORTERS LLC, : : Plaintiff, : Civil Action No.: 14-1264 (RC) : v. : Re Document Nos.: 83, 86 : UNITED STATES : DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, : : Defendant, : : and : : SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, : THEO WAIGEL, : : Defendant-Intervenors. : MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT I. INTRODUCTION This matter arises from a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) investigation of Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (“Siemens”) conducted by the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). As a result of the investigation, in 2008 Siemens pleaded guilty to violating the FCPA’s internal controls and books and records provisions. The plea agreement imposed a large fine on Siemens and three subsidiaries, and it required Siemens to hire an independent compliance monitor to ensure that it implemented an effective corporate governance system and complied with all applicable anti-corruption laws and regulations. Siemens hired Dr. Theodore Waigel (the “Monitor”) to serve as its compliance monitor. Pursuant to his mandate under the plea agreement, the Monitor conducted a multi-year review of Siemens’ compliance programs. Over four years he provided more than 150 recommendations to Siemens for ways to improve its compliance programs, and he submitted several written reports to DOJ, including work plans at the start of each year, summary reports at the end of each year, and status reports and other correspondence on an ongoing basis. Each year, he also certified that Siemens was in compliance with the plea agreement’s terms. In 2013, Plaintiff 100Reporters LLC, a non-profit dedicated to investigative journalism, submitted a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request to the DOJ seeking records related to the monitorship. DOJ denied the request and an administrative appeal. In 2014, 100Reporters brought this FOIA action before the Court. DOJ has produced redacted documents falling within the scope of 100Reporters’ request, while withholding others in full under certain FOIA exemptions. 100Reporters objects to those withholdings. In 2016, DOJ and 100Reporters filed cross-motions for summary judgment, and this Court granted DOJ’s motion in part and denied it in part, and it denied 100Reporters’ motion. The Court’s ruling ratified DOJ’s withholdings under FOIA Exemption 4 and the attorney work product privilege incorporated into Exemption 5, and it directed DOJ to provide additional factual support for the other exemptions on which it relied, including a representative sample of documents for in camera review. Now before the Court are DOJ’s renewed motion for summary judgment and 100Reporters’ opposition. See generally Mem. P. & A. Supp. U.S. Dep’t Justice’s Renewed Mot. Summ. J. (“DOJ Mem.”), ECF No. 83-2; Pl.’s Opp’n (“100Reporters Mem.”), ECF No. 86. 2 For the reasons explained below, the Court finds that DOJ’s Exemption 4 withholdings are overbroad, and that while DOJ has justified the withholding of certain information under Exemptions 5, 6, and 7(C), DOJ’s withholdings under those Exemptions are also overbroad. ...

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