Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for records regarding its referral to the Department of Justice (DOJ) about former President Trump’s presidential records (Judicial Watch v National Archives and Records Administration (No. 1:22-cv-02535).
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the National Archives and Records Administration failed to respond adequately to a February 2022 FOIA request for:
- All records regarding the referral from NARA to the Department of Justice regarding the records management procedures of former President Donald Trump (https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/national-archives-asks-doj-investigate-trumps-handling-white/story?id=82781128 ). This request includes all related records of communication between any official or employee of NARA and any official or employee of the Department of Justice and/or any other branch, department, agency, or office of the federal government.
- All records regarding the retrieval of records from President Trump or any individual or entity acting on his behalf by the National Archives and Records Administration. This request includes related records of communication between any official or employee of NARA and President Trump and/or any individual or entity acting on his behalf
In February 2022, the National Archives reportedly asked the Justice Department to investigate former President Donald Trump’s handling of records from his presidency. This investigation eventually led to the unprecedented raid on the former president’s home.
“The Biden administration’s raid on President Trump’s home is an outrageous, reckless and unprecedented abuse of power. And the American people have an urgent right to know how the Biden administration manufactured the records dispute used as a pretext for the raid on Trump’s home,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Biden administration’s unlawful secrecy on its political raid of Trump’s home speaks volumes.”
In a separate case, Judicial Watch has moved with some significant success to unseal all warrant materials, including the affidavit used to justify the raid.
On August 22, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart handed down a decision that partially grants Judicial Watch’s request to unseal the affidavit and other materials. He states in the ruling that “given the intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President’s residence, the Government has not yet shown that these administrative concerns are sufficient to justify sealing.”