Friday, June 23, 2017

Lawsuit Accuses Trump of Violating Federal Records Law

Two Watchdog Groups Filed a Lawsuit against President Trump and his Office on Thursday alleging that the White House is Failing to adhere to Federal Records Law by Communicating via Confidential Applications like Signal and Deleting some of the President’s Messages on Twitter.

Specifically, the Plaintiffs, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive, accuse the White House of running afoul of the Presidential Records Act, which requires the Preservation of certain White House Communication Records.

The Lawsuit cites news reports about White House aides using “certain email messaging applications that destroy the contents of messages as soon as they are read, without regard to whether the messages are presidential records,” as well as Tweets from Trump’s Account that have been Deleted after they were sent, as examples of Records that were not properly Preserved.

CREW and the National Security Archive also accuse the White House of Circumventing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by “centraliz[ing] much of the governmental decision-making within the White House.” If the White House makes certain Policy Decisions via Executive Order that would normally go through an Agency Rule-Making process, the Lawsuit reasons, the Communications behind those Decisions can no longer be Viewed by the Public via FOIA request. Agencies are subject to FOIA, while the White House is not.

According to Presidential Records Law, Groups requesting Internal White House Emails, do not have the Right to Access them for at least Five Years after Trump leaves Office.

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