The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has denied a Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOIA) request from Just the News regarding its investigation into possible voter registration fraud. In 2020 the FBI took over a voter registration fraud that began in Michigan, and cites an exemption in that law regarding ongoing investigations as its reason to not divulge information in its involvement.
The FOIA request sought “copies of all reports, documents, and records about GBI Strategies, including all communication and correspondence regarding investigations of GBI Strategies with Michigan government officials, city and state law enforcement agencies in Michigan, and all other state government officials and law enforcement agencies involved in investigations of GBI Strategies.”
The FBI’s response reads in part: “The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure.” The FBI cited 5 U.S. Code § 552(b)(7)(A) for exempting disclosure of the records, specifically, “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information … could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”
“The records responsive to your request are law enforcement records; there is a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records, and release of the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings” the response continued.
Just the News reports:
Police from Michigan interviewed GBI Strategies employees in 2020 and cited specific instances of registrations that appeared suspicious or fraudulent, the previously obtained memos show. A Michigan State Police memo described the possible crime being investigated as “Election Fraud by Forgery.”
The Michigan attorney general’s office confirmed last month that there was a state investigation into thousands of suspected fraudulent voter registrations, which was referred to the FBI, the Bridge Michigan reported.
According to the dozens of pages of police reports from the Muskegon Police Department and Michigan State Police, a firm called GBI Strategies was under scrutiny as an organization central to alleged voter registration fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The matter was initially investigated by city and state authorities before the FBI took over.
Contacts between local law enforcement and the FBI continued into 2022 but there is no evidence of what happened after that in the memos obtained by Just the News through requests made under Michigan’s own Freedom of Information Act.
Additionally, Danny Wimmer, press secretary for the State Attorney General, told Just the News in August that among 8,000 to 10,000 voter registration forms that were submitted to the Muskegon clerk before the 2020 general election, some were suspected to be fraudulent.
“An organization turned in some thousands of voter registrations throughout the fall of 2020, estimated on the high end to be cumulatively 8-10,000, and some within those batches were found to be suspicious or fraudulent,” Wimmer said.
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