American Oversight Sues DOJ for Release of Trump Tower Wiretap Records, Russia Investigation Documents

Lawsuits Focus on President Trump’s Wiretap Claims, Sessions’ Foreign Contacts & Priebus-FBI Communications

American Oversight, a non-partisan ethics watchdog group, today sued the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for the release of records related to any wiretaps of Trump Tower and for other documents related to the investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia.

“Nearly 100 days into President Trump’s term, there are more questions than answers about the president and his associates’ contacts with Russia. It’s time for the administration to come clean with the American people,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “As congressional inquiries seem to be getting us nowhere, American Oversight is suing the government for information.”

American Oversight filed two separate lawsuits today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to enforce requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for records related to the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The first lawsuit seeks the release of records – including warrant applications and court orders – for surveillance of Trump Tower or associates of the Trump campaign. Even though the president had already publicly acknowledged the “wiretaps” in a series of tweets beginning on March 4, 2017, and FBI Director James Comey had testified publicly that there was no such wiretap, DOJ denied American Oversight’s FOIA request for information, claiming it could neither confirm nor deny the existence of any such records.

“It’s ludicrous for the Justice Department to claim it can’t confirm or deny the existence of records given that the president has declared they exist and the FBI director has denied it. Well, which is it? The American people have a right to the truth,” added Evers.

The second lawsuit seeks two sets of documents from the FBI: information about White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus’s attempt to persuade the bureau to rebut media reports about the investigation into the Trump campaign, and the vetting form – the SF-86 – on which Attorney General Jeff Sessions should  have disclosed any contacts with foreign government officials.

Related Blog Posts

January 22, 2020

OMB Releases 192 Pages of Ukraine Records to American Oversight

Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
News
January 17, 2020

News Roundup: The Evidence Continues to Mount

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Clayton County - Georgia, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, Hancock County - Georgia, Jefferson County - Georgia
Investigation Update
News
January 15, 2020

Updated Timeline: Messages About Yovanovitch Surveillance Happened Same Week as Giuliani-Pompeo Calls

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
January 13, 2020

Energy Department Agrees to Release Ukraine Documents This Month

Department of Energy
Investigation Update
January 10, 2020

State Department’s Release of Volker Calendars and Text Messages Raises Further Questions

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
January 10, 2020

News Roundup: Presidential War Powers and New Impeachment Documents

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Department of State, Florida Office of the Governor, Hernando County - Florida, Nassau County - Florida, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Okaloosa County - Florida, Seminole County - Florida
News
January 10, 2020

In the Documents: Investigating the Trump Administration’s Legal Analyses for Potential Use of Force Against Iran

Department of State
Investigation Update
January 8, 2020

State Department Releases Additional Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
January 7, 2020

Did the Trump Administration Abuse the Redactions Process?

Department of Defense, Office of Management and Budget
News
December 27, 2019

American Oversight’s 2019 in Review: Nine Important Stories We Uncovered

News
December 21, 2019

Defense Department Ukraine Documents Released to American Oversight

Department of Defense
Investigation Update
December 20, 2019

News Roundup: Beyond Impeachment — The Investigations Continue

Administration for Children and Families, Congress, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Government Accountability Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Management and Budget
News
December 18, 2019

Why Trump Has Met the Standard for Obstruction of Congress

Congress, Department of Defense, Department of State
News
December 13, 2019

News Roundup: Stephen Miller’s Extremist Network

Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Carroll County - Georgia, Congress, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Environmental Protection Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Office of Management and Budget, Texas Attorney General
News
December 12, 2019

American Oversight Sues for Treasury Communications About Russian Investment in Kentucky Plant

Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control
Investigation Update
December 11, 2019

Lawsuit over Administration’s Unlawful Seizure of Trump-Putin Meeting Notes Moves Forward

Department of State, National Archives and Records Administration
Investigation Update
News
December 6, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment Report, Border Wall Contracts, and Pompeo’s Meeting with GOP Donors

Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State
News
December 3, 2019

House Committee Impeachment Report References State Department Documents Obtained by American Oversight

Investigation Update
News
November 27, 2019

News Roundup: Thankful for FOIA

Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Kentucky Office of the Governor
News
November 27, 2019

Behind the Scenes: How American Oversight Forced the Release of State Department Ukraine Records

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
November 25, 2019

American Oversight Sues Justice Department for Ukraine-Related Communications

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
News
November 22, 2019

State Department Releases Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
November 22, 2019

News Roundup: Fiona Hill’s Warnings, Nikki Haley’s Emails, and Matt Bevin’s Stay at Trump’s Hotel

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Kentucky Office of the Governor
News
November 21, 2019

Nikki Haley Sent Classified Emails on an Unclassified Email System

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
November 20, 2019

Sondland’s Testimony Highlights State Department Obstruction

Department of Energy, Department of State
News
November 15, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment Inquiry Goes Public

Bartow County - Georgia, Carroll County - Georgia, Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Council on Environmental Quality, Dallas County - Texas, Decatur County - Georgia, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Veterans Affairs, Florida House of Representatives, Georgia Secretary of State, Harris County - Texas, Lowndes County - Georgia, Paulding County - Georgia, Travis County - Texas
News
November 14, 2019

How ‘Sharpiegate’ Turned a Simple Misunderstanding into a Media Frenzy — and Headache for NOAA Employees

Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Investigation Update
November 8, 2019

News Roundup: Ukraine-Related Documents, Hurdles for Asylum-Seekers, and Chad Wolf’s Involvement in Family Separation

Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Office of the Governor, Office of Information Policy, Office of Legal Counsel, Office of Management and Budget
News
November 7, 2019

What We Learned from the Yovanovitch and McKinley Transcripts

Congress, Department of State
News
October 31, 2019

State Department Agrees to Produce Ukraine Records to American Oversight by November 22

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
October 25, 2019

News Roundup: Court Chips Away at Trump Administration Obstruction

News
October 24, 2019

Research Tool: Ukraine-Trump Key Figures and Documents

Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of the Treasury
News
October 23, 2019

Federal Judge Says He Will Order State Department to Begin Turning Over Requested Ukraine Documents

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
October 22, 2019

New Lawsuit Seeks Perry and Brouillette Ukraine Documents and Communications about Biden Investigation Effort

Department of Energy
Investigation Update
October 18, 2019

News Roundup: Corruption, Plain and Simple

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State
News
October 18, 2019

Court Calls for Hearing on Emergency Motion for Ukraine Documents

Department of State
Investigation Update
October 11, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment, Obstruction, and More Questions about Rick Perry

Administration for Children and Families, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security
News
October 4, 2019

News Roundup: The Public Needs Answers

Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State
Investigation Update
News
October 4, 2019

Pompeo’s Obstructionism Won’t Work

Department of State
News
October 2, 2019

Pompeo’s Letter Is the Trump Administration’s Opening Salvo of Obstruction

Department of State
News
October 1, 2019

We’re Suing the State Department for Giuliani-Ukraine Documents

Department of State
Investigation Update
September 27, 2019

News Roundup: From the Top Down

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Collier County - Florida, Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Management and Budget
News
September 25, 2019

Release of Trump–Zelensky Call Readout Raises Questions About Justice Department Involvement

Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury
Investigation Update
September 20, 2019

News Roundup: Trump, Giuliani, and Ukraine

Administration for Children and Families, Agency for International Development, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Reserve, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, National Institutes of Health, Starr County - Texas, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Texas Attorney General, Texas Secretary of State, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
News
September 12, 2019

New Lawsuit Seeks State Department Records of Jared Kushner’s Middle East Trips

Department of State
Investigation Update
September 4, 2019

Lawsuit Seeks Records from Investigation into Potential Trump Campaign-Finance Violations

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
June 7, 2019

News Roundup: Investigating Outside Influence and Political Appointments at the State Department

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration
News
March 12, 2019

Investigating the Trump Administration’s Efforts to Sell Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, International Trade Administration, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
News
January 28, 2019

Court Orders Trump Administration to Turn Over More Voter-Fraud Commission Records

White House
Investigation Update
January 9, 2019

Investigating the Acting Defense Secretary’s Ties to Boeing

Department of Defense
News
December 12, 2018

Audit the Wall: No Plans, Funding or Timeline — And No Wall

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State
Investigation Update
February 23, 2018

FCC Commissioner Calls for Trump’s Reelection, Violates Hatch Act

Federal Communications Commission
News
February 9, 2018

New Lawsuit Seeks DHS Border Wall Emails with White House, Fox News, Border States

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
Investigation Update
February 6, 2018

Voter Fraud Commission Asked Texas to Highlight Hispanic Surnames in Voter Data

White House
Investigation Update
December 17, 2017

Trump Transition GSA Emails and Memorandum of Understanding

General Services Administration
Investigation Update
November 16, 2017

Maine Secretary of State Dunlap Election Commission Lawsuit

Investigation Update
October 31, 2017

American Oversight Sues State Department for Records Showing Efforts to Compel Mexico to Pay for Border Wall

Department of State
News
October 17, 2017

5 Questions for Attorney General Sessions

Department of Justice
September 18, 2017

Austin Evers Discusses Trump Inaugural Funds on MSNBC

News
September 2, 2017

DOJ Confirms Trump Lied in “Wiretap” Tweets

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
August 1, 2017

American Oversight Obtains Attorney General Sessions SF-86 Signature Page

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
August 1, 2017

Statement on Waiver of Environmental Regulations for Border Wall

Investigation Update
July 28, 2017

Watchdog Group Calls for Hatch Act Investigation of Gorka

White House
July 27, 2017

Call for OSC Investigation of Pruitt Travel to Oklahoma

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
July 21, 2017

American Oversight Calls for Resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
News
July 13, 2017

DOJ Releases Redacted Page of Sessions’s SF-86 to American Oversight

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
July 12, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Pence-Kobach Commission Records

Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, General Services Administration
News
June 16, 2017

Watchdog Group Files Lawsuit on Trump Border Wall

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
May 24, 2017

After American Oversight Lawsuit, DOJ Confirms that Sessions Lied about Russian Contacts

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 16, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Comey-Trump Memos

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 12, 2017

Letter to Burr and Warner: Senate Should Request Trump-Comey Tapes

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 10, 2017

Statement on the Firing of FBI Director Comey

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 10, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Calls for IG Investigation of Sessions for Violating Recusal

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
March 28, 2017

Statement on Trump Administration Proposal to Build Border Wall South of Rio Grande

Department of the Interior
Investigation Update
March 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches Investigation of President Trump’s Border Wall

Department of Homeland Security
Investigation Update
March 22, 2017

Statement on Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes’ Actions

Investigation Update
March 17, 2017

American Oversight Calls on Congress to Investigate Trump Aide’s Reported Ties to Nazi Group

Office of Government Ethics, White House
News