Property of the People, a nonprofit organization whose goal is transparency, seeks to obtain President Donald Trump's FBI file via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the bureau filed Sunday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The group, as part of its Operation 45 transparency and accountability project, wants the FBI to hand over anything in its files on Trump from June 14, 1946 until June 15, 2015. The group first requested Trump's file three months ago but, thus far, the bureau, citing privacy concerns Property of the People said, has only released some documents to co-plaintiffs Ryan Shapiro, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) PhD candidate, and investigative reporter Jason Leopold.
The FBI has also refused to confirm the existence of some documents, a stance the organization challenged, since Trump himself has tweeted about the FBI investigating him.
“Confirming that the FBI maintains files numbered 137-NY-19967 and 137-22152 would not disclose techniques, procedures, or guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions. Additionally, documents referencing file numbers 137-22152 and 137-NY-19967 in connection with the FBI's contact with Mr. Trump are already available to the public,” the complaint read. “The disclosure of the mere existence or nonexistence of responsive records could not reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law. The FBI has not only unreasonably withheld the responsive records, but has unreasonably refused to even confirm the existence of responsive records.”
And Shapiro in a release claimed that “given the profound gravity of the FBI's past and ongoing investigations involving Donald J. Trump, the public interest in the release of the requested documents is immense. The American public absolutely deserves to know the full truth about the FBI's historical and current operations involving the President.”