A recent lawsuit filed against the Department of Justice (DOJ) by Judicial Watch and the Center for Constitutional Rights has gained attention from conservative media outlets and some Republican presidential candidates.
But the group’s latest filing on Friday claims that the DOJ is not obligated to reveal the information it seeks in the suit, and it is seeking an injunction to block the DOJ from releasing any information.”DOJ and the Department have failed to comply with the terms of their agreement to release information under FOIA and have not complied with DOJ’s own terms of this agreement,” Judicial Watch said in a press release.
“Instead, DOJ has refused to release any of the information requested.”
The lawsuit was filed on Friday by Judicial Focus, the conservative nonprofit watchdog group that has worked closely with the DOJ and other federal agencies to file FOIA lawsuits against the administration.
“The Department of Defense’s use of a secretive legal system known as a “secretive secretarial review,” as well as the DOJ’s failure to release relevant records to Judicial Watch, has placed the public’s interest in disclosure in jeopardy,” Judicial Focus Executive Director Chris Farrell said in the release.
“This lawsuit is about an issue that matters to us all.
We want to know what the Department and the DOJ have in store for us if the Trump administration is successful in its effort to prevent Judicial Watch from exposing their crimes and misconduct.”
In January, the Justice Department said it had received several requests from Judicial Watch regarding the release of certain documents related to the case.
But at the time, it had not released any of them.
The Department said at the start of the case that it would comply with requests to release records and documents from the public record.
“As the lawsuit has progressed, we have received more and more requests for the Department to release responsive documents, including those related to our investigation of the President’s illegal activities, the alleged misuse of power by the President, and any and all other matters that Judicial Watch has raised in the public interest,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mark Witherspoon said in January.
The DOJ said in that press release that it was also reviewing the case to see if the public had any legal right to a copy of any of its documents or other information.
The Judicial Watch case is the latest legal challenge against the Trump presidency.
In January, a federal judge in New York ruled that the Trump Administration violated the First Amendment by refusing to release documents related in part to a lawsuit over the inauguration crowd size.
In May, a judge in Texas ruled that Trump’s attorney general had illegally withheld information from the U.S. Congress during a Freedom of Information Act request.
And in April, a former senior Justice Department official was indicted in the corruption case against the President and his former national security adviser.
The government has also been embroiled in a civil lawsuit over its handling of the 2016 presidential election, with a judge ordering that the records be made public in the wake of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.