On May 3, 2021, Luis Elizondo filed a Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Fraud, Waste & Abuse Hotline Complaint. Elizondo made numerous allegations specifically against three people within the Department of Defense, which included Garry Reid, Susan Gough and Neill Tipton, alleging “… malicious activities, coordinated disinformation, professional misconduct, whistleblower reprisal and and explicit threats perpetrated by certain senior-level Pentagon officials, including the Director of Defense for Intelligence and Security (DDI I&S), Garry Reid, Public Affairs Officer Susan Gough, and any other officials who were complicit in these acts.”
That DoD/OIG complaint was published by the NY POST.
In October of 2022, The Black Vault filed three FOIA requests seeking out the following:
- A copy of the video and/or audio of Mr. Luis Elizondo’s interview with Whistleblower Reprisal Investigations that occurred on, or around, May 19, 2021, a transcript of the interview, and all internal notes, communications, and emails about the interview;
- All emails within Whistleblower Reprisal Investigations which contain the word “Elizondo”; and
- All emails that are to/from (bcc’d or cc’d) the DoD OIG and attorney Daniel Peter Sheehan, from January 1, 2020, to the date of processing your request.
The discovery of the interview was made by The Black Vault throughout previous FOIA cases.
On February 9, 2023, the DoD/OIG responded and came back with responsive records. Although the audio recording was unable to be edited to comply with the FOIA (appeal pending), a transcript (partially redacted) was released.
In addition to this, other key records became available, including a February 16, 2022, letter from Nilgen Tolek, Director of the Whistleblower Reprisal Investigations within the DoD/OIG, wherein it was stated that, “The evidence we reviewed does not support your client’s reprisal complaint because no action affecting his eligibility for access to classified information was taken or threatened against him.”
Tolek continued, “Your client’s eligibility for access to classified information remains intact. Accordingly, we are closing his case.”
Other records released were communications between Mr. Elizondo and the DoD/OIG’s office, along with internal communications about the investigation.
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