The Department of Justice is requesting that the justification of an FBI raid on a reportedly recognized whistleblower’s home remain secret, according to a letter from U.S. Attorney Robert Robert Hur.
The letter was sent to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on Dec. 7 in response to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Nov. 30 request to unseal court documents that would show the FBI’s rationale for the raid.
The documents could potentially reveal whether the bureau and the magistrate who signed the court order allowing the raid, Stephanie A. Gallagher, knew that the subject was, according to his lawyer, a recognized whistleblower.
Sixteen FBI agents raided Dennis Cain’s Union Bridge, Maryland, home on Nov. 19 for six hours, even though Cain told them that he was a recognized whistleblower and handed classified documents over to the agents.
The documents Cain possessed reportedly showed that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the Russian company that purchased Uranium One.
Cain gave the documents to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who had a senior official from his office hand-deliver them to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, according to Cain’s layer, Michael Socarras.
Cain, a former employee of an FBI contractor, has not been arrested in connection with the raid.
Whistleblower advocates and defense attorneys have condemned the raid, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley demanded that FBI Director Christopher Wray justify the raid and divulge whether the bureau knew about Cain’s reported disclosure. The Iowa Republican gave Wray until Dec. 12 to respond.
Hur did not address Cain’s reported status as a protected whistleblower in his letter to the court and instead appeared to employ boilerplate objections to keep the documents out of the public. He also did not invoke national security concerns or claim that Cain possessed classified information.
Releasing the raid’s justification would “seriously jeopardize the integrity of the ongoing investigation,” Hur wrote in his eight-page letter. “Making this type of information public while this investigation is ongoing could harm the government’s ability to find additional relevant evidence.”
He also stated that his office opposed the court order’s public release “to guard against possible tampering of witnesses and destruction of evidence, and to maintain the ability of the grand jury to investigate this matter.”
Hur wrote that “unsealing would expose details of the government’s investigation and impact the government’s ability to secure charges in this matter.” His letter also indicated that there were other “targets or subjects of the investigation.”
The U.S. Attorney claimed that redacting the search warrant application “is not practicable” because the warrant is “interwoven with sensitive investigative information.”