A FOIA lawsuit for the immediate release of the U.S. intelligence report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi
On October 6, 2022, the Knight Institute and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) filed FOIA requests for the U.S. intelligence report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist, U.S. resident, and prominent critic of Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, a presidential advisory board recommended that the report be released in its entirety, but President Biden has not done so.
Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. According to news reports and intelligence assessments conducted by the U.S. government, he was killed by Saudi agents with the approval of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Although the U.S. government released redacted versions of two of its intelligence assessments in 2021, it continues to withhold as classified a full intelligence report.
The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB), a panel of experts established by Congress to advise the President on the declassification of U.S. national security records, reviewed the U.S. intelligence report on Khashoggi’s killing. Despite the PIDB’s unanimous recommendation to President Biden that he declassify the entire report, President Biden has not done so.
After the intelligence agencies failed to release documents in response to the organizations’ FOIA requests, the Knight Institute filed this lawsuit.
Agencies Involved: Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Public Interest Declassification Board; and Central Intelligence Agency
Status: On October 24, 2022, the Knight Institute filed its complaint in federal district court in the Southern District of New York.
Case Information: Knight First Amendment Inst. at Columbia Univ. v. Off. of the Dir. of Nat'l Intelligence, No. 1:22-cv-09096 (S.D.N.Y.).