Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr., released a statement tonight in answer to charges from the Corzine campaign that his office has been slow to act on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) queries concerning the renure of former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, now a Republican candidate for governor.
“The United States Attorney’s Office has received a large number of FOIA requests from the Corzine Campaign,” said Marra.”The requests have resulted in an unprecedented response from this office, including hundreds of employee hours from paralegals, attorneys, administrative staff and our summer interns, and thousands of pages of documents and other materials. These particular requests have been prioritized ahead of the numerous other FOIA requests the office receives and processes on a regular basis.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office has worked as professionally and expeditiously as it can to fulfill all the requests and has been in virtually daily contact with the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) in Washington to accomplish this burdensome and continuous task.
“Regarding the process, all of the requests were received first by EOUSA staff in the Department of Justice in Washington and in turn forwarded to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.The documents have been gathered on a continuous basis and are being sent to EOUSA, which is the final supervising and reviewing authority in determining whether the request has been adequately complied with by this office and what ultimately is released or withheld under FOIA.
“All efforts have been made and continue to be made to comply with the requests and to fulfill our FOIA obligations, at the same time that our attorneys and staff fulfill their primary duties of investigating and prosecuting criminal and civil cases for the United States. At absolutely no time has there been an effort to slow down or inhibit the FOIA process.”