Department of Homeland Security: Your subpoena “is no longer necessary”

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By Christopher Elliott

The Department of Homeland Security has withdrawn a subpoena that would have required me to furnish it with all documents related to the Dec. 25 TSA Security Directive published on this site.

The move came after I was granted an extension on the government’s request earlier today. I also signaled my intent to challenge the subpoena in federal court next week.

My attorney, Anthony Elia, received the following confirmation from the Department of Homeland Security:

Mr. Elia:

This is to confirm our earlier telephone conversation that the TSA subpoena of December 29, 2009, issued to your client, Mr. Christopher Elliott, is being withdraw as no longer necessary.
Thank you for your assistance and have a happy and safe New Year.

John A. Drennan
Deputy Chief Counsel (Enforcement)
Office of the Chief Counsel
Transportation Security Administration
Department of Homeland Security

I also just spoke with Steve Frischling. He has also been served with a subpoena in connection with the security directive. He says he received a phone call from a deputy chief counsel for enforcement at the DHS to let him know he was off the hook and that the agency had offered to buy him a new computer. His previous computer had been damaged after Frischling consented to a search of his computer and hard drive. (Here’s how to handle the TSA when you travel.)

Needless to say, I’m delighted by this turn of events.

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TSA did the right thing by withdrawing its subpoena. Perhaps it has bigger problems to worry about?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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