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By Kevin Daley
BuzzFeed and reporter Jason Leopold are suing half a dozen federal agencies for access to government records concerning President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter.
Should the suit succeed, the records could provide definitive answers to the wide range of allegations that the president has made through his Twitter account.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the NSA are among the entities named in the suit, which seeks access to any record exchanged between government officials “that mentions or refers to President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter and his tweets and constitutes discussions about his tweets.”
BuzzFeed and Leopold also requested records regarding two particular tweets. The first is Trump’s March 4 claim that former President Barack Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped in advance of the election. The second is his subsequent allegation on the same day that unnamed courts had refused to sanction the wiretapping. No evidence has yet emerged that either of these claims are true, although the FBI wiretapped the building’s 63rd floor from 2011 to 2013 in connection with an investigation into Russian organized crime.
The parties submitted Freedom of Information Act requests for all records relevant to these topics. BuzzFeed and Leopold allege that the departments and agencies named in the suit have not been responsive to their appeals, and seek a court order compelling their release.
“As the Department of Justice itself has acknowledged, there are ‘hundreds’ of official communications related to the President’s tweets, including the claim that President Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower,” BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal told Politico. “Given the magnitude and clear public interest of this and other allegations, we believe that the Trump administration is legally obligated to turn over these records.”