The MFIA Clinic represents Jonathan Kaplan, a whistleblower and former official in the CIA’s Office of Inspector General. Kaplan blew the whistle on misconduct of high-ranking officials within the CIA OIG (including a former Inspector General) for actions such as retaliation against other whistleblowers. He then suffered various adverse personnel actions, and filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint. The complaint was adjudicated by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The NGA eventually informed Kaplan that it did not substantiate Kaplan’s allegations of retaliation but refused to release the report, claiming that it was classified. Kaplan filed FOIA requests for the report to the NGA, the CIA, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, but none responded to the request.
MFIA stepped in and sued all three agencies. This induced the NGA to produced a redacted version of the report. According to the report, the NGA found that Kaplan engaged in protected whistleblowing and suffered adverse personnel actions, but did not find a sufficient evidence of a causal connection. However, much of the NGA’s reasoning is obscured by extensive redactions. MFIA is currently challenging the redactions with the agency, overseen by the Court. This may lead to summary judgment briefing.
In addition, the unredacted parts of the report suggest that the NGA’s investigation of Kaplan’s complaint may have been highly perfunctory. So MFIA filed a separate FOIA request on Kaplan’s behalf for records of the NGA’s investigation. After the NGA failed to timely respond to that request, MFIA filed a second lawsuit on Kaplan’s behalf to compel a response. The production of those records is ongoing.