America First Legal Sues DOD For Document That Exonerates Trump

Conservative legal advocacy group America First Legal has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense (DOD), accusing the federal agency of illegally hiding records that could exonerate former president and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in his bogus classified documents case.

According to America First Legal (AFL), the DOD illegally concealed records regarding the Presidential Information Technology Committee, which former President Barack Obama’s administration created to “improve the information resources and information systems provided to the President.”

AFL has asserted that these documents, for which they sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in January, have the potential to “exonerate” Trump — which is why the Biden administration refuses to release them.

The conservative legal group has alleged that the Presidential Information Technology Committee appears to explain that the president has the authority to control all information that he receives, meaning that it would prove Trump’s belief that he was within his rights to retain the alleged classified documents in his possession.

AFL also noted that if Trump supposedly destroyed records, they may still exist within the Executive Office of the President of the DOD thanks to systems created by the committee — thus, the claim that Trump got rid of them “may be baseless.”

The group then argued that, if the information stored by the Presidential Information Technology Committee was used to form special counsel Jack Smith’s political prosecution of Trump, this should have been disclosed to Trump’s legal team.

“America First Legal’s suit today raises significant legal questions the Biden Administration must confront,” AFL Vice President Dan Epstein wrote in a statement. “First, the President’s Information Technology Committee presumes that all information received by the President is within his control. That principle complicates the indictment by the Special Counsel’s Office, particularly on the question of what President Trump was authorized to access and retain.”

“Alternatively, if the Court finds that records subject to PITC are agency records, not presidential records, and were separately preserved by the Department of Defense, then it raises serious questions about the National Archives’ decision to refer Trump to the Department of Justice as that referral would be based on the false claim that President Trump removed presidential records,” the statement continued.

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