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Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education for Records about Investigations of Foreign Money in Colleges and Universities


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(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education for all records related to its investigations of colleges and universities accepting foreign gifts and contracts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Education (No. 1:20-cv-02010)).

The lawsuit was filed after the Department of Education failed to respond to May 4, 2020 FOIA request for:

All information, documents, and communication(s) between the Department and all schools currently under a Section 117 investigation regarding acceptance or reporting of foreign gifts including, but not limited to, gifts to affiliated foundations, all ancillary or foreign campuses, and individual departments or professors between January 1, 2018 and present; and

Any preliminary findings or reports that cover all open and closed investigations of the Department regarding false or misleading reporting of foreign gifts, including all source documents and information relied upon to determine findings or other report content.

Judicial Watch’s lawsuit explains that Section 117 of the Higher Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1011f, “requires U.S. institutions of higher education receiving federal funding to report any gifts from, or contracts with, foreign sources with a value of $250,000 or more in a twelve-month period. Section 117 also authorizes the Department of Education to open an administrative investigation, and, if necessary, ask the Attorney General to initiate a civil action to enforce the law.”:snip:

 

 

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