BuzzFeed is suing the federal government for records about President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter, including his most attention-grabbing tweets claiming that he was wiretapped by former President Barack Obama.
The White House is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, so the suit demands information from about half a dozen government agencies, including the Justice Department, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the Office of Director of National Intelligence. The suit could turn up some communications with the White House, however, if those appear in agency files.
"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 said Thursday. "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.
The suit, brought by BuzzFeed and reporter Jason Leopold, was filed Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles. It says the Justice Department’s National Security Division advised that at least some records responsive to the requests are classified.
A somewhat narrower suit was filed last month by the new Trump-focused watchdog group, American Oversight. That case seeks records solely from the Justice Department and the FBI about Trump’s unproven wiretapping claims. Scores of other FOIA suits have been filed in the early months of the Trump administration, seeking information about policy shifts and other changes.
A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new suit.