Secrecy Surrounds Inspector General Complaint by UFO Whistleblower David Grusch: DoD Withholds More Documents

David Grusch

Following the release of details about UFO whistleblower David Grusch in a previous report, The Black Vault filed a new FOIA request (DODOIG-2024-000205) on January 12, 2024. This request sought “all records and materials submitted or communicated to the Department of Defense Inspector General by David Grusch” from January 1, 2020, to the present, excluding documents previously provided under DODOIG-2023-001013 that were previously reported on by The Black Vault.

The request was met with a full denial.

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The Department of Defense Inspector General’s office responded on March 7, 2024, stating that 25 pages of responsive records were exempt from release in their entirety. The exemptions cited include:

  • (b)(3): Protects information specifically exempted from disclosure by statute, in this case, the Inspector General Act of 1978, which pertains to the confidentiality of employee complaints.
  • (b)(5): Pertains to inter-and intra-agency communications protected by the deliberative process privilege.
  • (b)(6): Protects information that would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
  • (b)(7)(C): Pertains to records compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
  • (b)(7)(E): Pertains to records compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.

Additionally, certain documents may be withheld as they are compiled for a law enforcement inquiry, and their release could interfere with the ongoing investigation.

The previous FOIA request (DODOIG-2023-001013) revealed significant information about Grusch’s interactions with the Department of Defense, particularly in connection with the DOD/IG’s Evaluation. In contrast, the current denial suggests that the withheld documents are likely related to Grusch’s Inspector General complaint which may be ongoing.

The Black Vault plans to appeal the decision, arguing that the unclassified portions of Grusch’s complaint have been publicly disclosed, at least in part, during a Congressional hearing and are not likely subject to withholding under the Privacy Acts given that it has already been put into the public domain. The appeal will contend that not all content of the 25 pages should be withheld in full. Those results will be posted on The Black Vault, when available.

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FOIA Denial Letter

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This post was published on March 7, 2024 7:40 pm

John Greenewald

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