United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
To: Mr. Moore
From: W.D. Gow
PURPOSE: To respond to a request from the Freedom of Information-Privacy Act (FOIPA) Branch regarding release of documents in captioned matter.
RECOMMENDATION: That the Records Management Division, FOIPA Branch, process request for RYMUR documents and release only those documents which have as their basis public source information .
DETAILS: The FOIPA Branch, Records Management Division, has advised the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) of several pending FOIPA requests regarding RYMUR. The RYMUR investigation continues with prosecution anticipated in the near future. Additionally, numerous raw documents obtained during the course of the investigation have not been reviewed or evaluated due to the volume of material in this matter. Accordingly, CID is unable at this time to assess the value to the future prosecution of any documents already in file. Therefore, the only documents that should be released to the public at this time are those of a public source nature.
Memorandum to Mr. Moore
Addendum, FOIPA Branch, RMD [Records Management Division], 7/24/79
Subsequent conversations with Messrs. [2 names deleted] as indicated in those conferences, contact was made with Mr. Robert Saloschin, Director, Office of Information Law and Policy, Department of Justice; Mr. Dave Kline, Criminal Division, Department of Justice (Acting for Robert Keuch, who is Deputy Assistant Attorney General), Criminal Division, and with Mr. Blair Hall, FOIA Officer, US Department of State (USDS). Mr. Keuch is the superior of Mike Abell, previously indicated as the Criminal Division attorney handling the “Jonestown” situation. These contacts were in the form of an advisory and approval in that since this is a pending matter, FOIPA Branch wishes to process and release nothing without the specific approval of the appropriate Criminal Division attorneys.
The end result of these conferences is as follows:
(1) The FOIPA Branch, in conjunction with the Criminal Investigative Division (CID), and with the Criminal Division, Department of Justice, will concern itself at this time only with “public source materials.”
(2) USDS will, at this time, concern itself only with “public source materials”; for example, the approximately 400 documents furnished FOIPA Branch by Ken Strawberry in the past which were at that time considered by State to already be in the public domain.
(3) Henceforth, any documents (records) which State proposes for release will be furnished first to the FBI’s FOIPA Branch for determination of releasability. This, of course, will be done only in conjunction with CID and Criminal Division, Department of Justice.
(4) No document (record), whether it be State or FBI, no matter how innocuous it may appear, will be processed for release to any requestor without the concurrence of CID and Criminal Division, Department of Justice.
Memorandum to Mr. Moore
(5) Those documents (records) furnished by USDS to FOIPA, FBI, for consultation will be treated by FOIPA Branch as if the Branch is a “clearinghouse” since the FBI is best able to determine the releasability of any record pertaining to the “Jonestown” situation.
(6) Administrative responsibility for the location, examination and possible processing of documents (records) has been assigned to Unit C, FOIPA Branch, Unit Chief [name deleted] and thence to Team Captain [name deleted], Team C-2. The Analyst designated by Mr. [name deleted] to handle the FBI’s 15 requests relating to the “Jonestown” matter is [name deleted].
(7) Implicit within FOIPA Branch’s planned procedure with regard to these requesters is correspondence with the requesters at an early date to determine if public-source-type materials are desired. Since these are the only type documents the Branch contemplates handling at this time, and there is no desire to process any materials not requested, public source materials themselves may, in fact, not be processed.