Lawsuit Seeks Evidence of Political Influence in DOJ Investigations

Amid new reports into President Trump’s attempts to influence — and shut down — investigations at the Department of Justice (DOJ), American Oversight filed a lawsuit on Friday to find out if senior political appointees at DOJ have tried to inappropriately steer criminal and national security investigations.

The lawsuit seeks the release of any communications in which senior political officials, including DOJ’s then-Chief of Staff Jody Hunt and Counselor to the Attorney General Rachael Hunter, express opinions about the desired outcomes of cases under investigation by the department’s National Security or Criminal divisions. American Oversight filed two Freedom of Information Act requests seeking this information in mid-2017; DOJ has failed to comply with the requests as required by law, so we’re asking a court to step in.

Politicization of the Justice Department has been an increasing problem during the first year of the Trump administration.

President Trump has repeatedly expressed his opinion that DOJ should prosecute or investigate his political adversaries – including his 2016 general election opponent Hillary Clinton, Clinton’s former staffers, and even members of the news media – and in several cases DOJ has been willing to comply with the president’s requests. Attorney General Sessions informed members of Congress that he had directed the department to look into the investigation of the Uranium One sale — an issue which many conservatives have attempted to link to Clinton. American Oversight has opened a broader investigation into the politicization of DOJ. You can see that full investigation, along with the FOIA requests we’ve filed and the documents we’ve received, here.