The move comes after President Donald Trump promised
to help families, who accuse Saudi Arabia of
complicity in the attacks. Barr says he cannot even
explain why the material must stay secret without
putting national security at risk.
By Tim Golden and Sebastian Rotella
April 17, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - Months
after President Donald Trump promised to open FBI
files to help families of the 9/11 victims in a
civil lawsuit against the Saudi government, the
Justice Department has doubled down on its claim
that the information is a state secret.
In a series of filings just before a midnight court
deadline on Monday, the attorney general, William
Barr; the acting director of national intelligence,
Richard Grenell; and other senior officials insisted
to a federal judge in the civil case that further
disclosures about Saudi connections to the 9/11 plot
would imperil national security.
But the administration insisted in court filings
that even its justification for that secrecy needed
to remain secret. Four statements to the court by
FBI and Justice Department officials were filed
under seal so they could not be seen by the public.
An additional five, including one from the CIA, were
shared only with the judge and cannot be read even
by the plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Barr insisted to the court that public discussion of
the issue “would reveal information that could cause
the very harms my assertion of the state secrets
privilege is intended to prevent.”
What the various security agencies are trying to
hide remains a mystery.