Federal appellate court denies Judicial Watch request for GSE docs
A federal appellate court denied Judicial Watch's attempt to gain access to internal Federal Housing Finance Agency documents that may shed light on political contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with a lower court ruling in deciding the records requested under the Freedom of Information Act were never "agency records" fully in the FHFA's control. The conservative judicial watchdog group claims the documents became official agency records tied to the FHFA when the federal regulator took the mortgage finance giants into conservatorship in September 2008. The appeals court ruled not all of the factors were met to show that FHFA was actually in control of the documents requested. The court concluded the law "instructs us to consider the extent to which agency personnel have read or relied upon the document, and here it is uncontested that the FHFA has not used the requested records in any way." Judicial Watch and other organizations have been closely watching political ties to the GSEs as the companies catch criticism for their handling of mortgage securities ahead of the 2008 financial meltdown. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.