Judicial Watch has sued the Federal Housing Finance Agency, claiming that the agency wrongfully denied a request for documents related to a lawsuit over alleged misrepresentations of mortgage-backed securities.
In the fall the conservative advocacy group, which promotes transparency in government, requested records about losses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sustained on private-label mortgage-back securities they had purchased from 17 financial institutions. The group made the request through the Freedom of Information Act.
In September, the FHFA had sued the 17 financial institutions, alleging that the companies misrepresented the level of risk associated with the securities sold to Fannie and Freddie, which are regulated by the FHFA.
Judicial Watch’s request for the documents was denied in October. The FHFA argued that the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to documents from Fannie and Freddie.
Judicial Watch said in a news release Wednesday that it appealed the decision but the FHFA failed to notify the group about the outcome of the appeal and it never received the requested documents.
"The Obama administration says not one document from Fannie and Freddie, through which the federal government runs the nation's mortgage markets, is subject to disclosure under FOIA to the American people," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a news release Wednesday. "We hope, through our new lawsuit, the federal courts vindicate the public's right to know."
The group filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday.