FBN had already sued the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve over Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for information about the government’s bailouts – and won a federal court order to compel the Treasury to comply. Now FBN says the Securities and Exchange Commission has ignored its FOIA requests, so the SEC is being sued as well.
The initial request to the SEC, filed on February 26, 2009, sought all records relating to information that the SEC received regarding the potential violations of the securities laws or any other potential wrongdoing by R. Allen Stanford, or Stanford Financials Group and/or its affiliates. This request included, but was not limited to the SEC’s response to complaints, tips or information and any resulting audits, inquiries and/or investigations, FBN said.
“It is unacceptable that titans like R. Allen Stanford or Bernard Madoff were able to operate such massive financial frauds under the nose of institutions like the SEC. As a news organization, we believe it is the public’s right to know how these economic atrocities were committed as part of our continued quest to demand government accountability on behalf of the American taxpayers,” said Kevin Magee, Executive Vice President of Fox News.
The FOIA complaint was filed by Fox News Network, LLC, as owner of FBN. FBN has also filed lawsuits against the United States Treasury and United States Federal Reserve over their failure to respond to FOIA requests regarding use of the bailout funds and the Federal Reserve’s extended loan facilities. In February, FBN said the Federal Court in New York sided with it and ordered the Treasury to comply with the network’s requests.
Additionally, FBN recently moved to have a protective order vacated in the matter, NYU v. Ariel Fund Ltd., et al., because the order kept the deposition testimony of Ezra Merkin and Victor Teicher sealed from public viewing. The court granted FBN’s motion.
RBR/TVBR observation: Some Members of Congress, including some who don’t have much in common politically with the Fox News operations, are also upset about the secrecy associated with the government bailouts. Between Congress, the courts and the New York Attorney General, more and more details may eventually be pried out. We have to wonder why other news organizations aren’t joining FBN in the court battle.