A new Freedom of Information lawsuit against the Trump administration is about to unravel the President’s lies and false attacks on the Bureau. (lawsuit embedded below)
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Lawfare blog editor Benjamin Wittes filed suit under the federal FOIA law to obtain this year’s FBI “climate survey,” which asks agents to rate the agency’s mission and their bosses.
President Trump’s constant, vicious attacks against FBI leadership often include slandering their leadership’s job performance, but last year the New York Times revealed that it was all disinformation and that the agents broadly supported ex-Director James Comey.
That’s why Wittes asked for this year’s survey from February and March, which the administration refused to provide. His federal lawsuit reads:
The FBI faced many challenges over the past year, following President Trump’s decision to fire Director Comey.
The President and his allies have accused specific FBI personnel of skewing investigative results, abusing surveillance authorities, and engaging in a vendetta against the President [and] also have repeatedly attacked the integrity of the FBI and its agents on Twitter.
Plaintiffs seek to understand and explain to the public how these actions affect FBI morale. Despite the Bureau’s prior willingness to publicly release the results of the climate surveys, the Bureau has not released the most recent results.
In this discussion with @chucktodd on @MeetThePress yesterday, I talked about a FOIA request I filed with @S_R_Anders for the current FBI climate survey. Here's the request and a short post about the background and why we filed it. https://t.co/F5aln3RzxDhttps://t.co/ubmahCO9VC
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) April 28, 2018
The President’s unceasing attacks on American law enforcement have been proven to be entirely baseless in the past.
Earlier this year, Trump personally terrorized the bureau’s former Acting Director Andrew McCabe, a career official that he drummed out of office by haranguing the Department of Justice until he was fired on his birthday, just to deny him the pension benefits he had earned.
Benjamin Wittes’ new lawsuit promises to provide a unique window into the minds and opinions of the FBI after their agency has withered its first full year of attacks by the President while they investigate the crimes that appear all but certain to end his administration.
Find the complete lawsuit here:
Trump always claims that the FBI has been demoralized, but his administration knows the truth.
An annual "climate" survey notes the opinion of FBI agents and they refuse to release it.
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) May 21, 2018