AFL Sues Biden’s Department of Defense for Unlawfully Concealing Records Regarding A Secretive Obama Order That May Change Legal Presumptions Regarding the Prosecution of President Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) sued the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to compel the immediate release of documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding the secretive Presidential Information Technology Committee (PITC) created by former President Barack Obama. 

In January, AFL filed a FOIA with the Defense Information Systems Agency, part of the Department of Defense, to understand PITC.

PITC is highly relevant today as it creates a presumption that the President controls all information he receives. Thus, it is relevant to what a President may reasonably believe about information given to him in office.

If information stored on the PITC network formed the basis for Special Counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of former President Trump, that evidence should have been disclosed to the former President and may be relevant to his liability. This is especially significant given the Special Counsel’s case in Florida hinges on the notion that former President Trump was not “authorized” to retain certain documents. The PITC memo could create a reasonable belief for any President that he has such authority. 

Additionally, suppose the records Trump allegedly destroyed are still preserved within the EOP or the U.S. Department of Defense as part of PITC-created information systems. In that case, claims in the indictment that President Trump removed or destroyed records may be baseless. 

Given the DOD’s failure to hand over the requested information, AFL has filed a lawsuit. AFL will not cease in its legal battle until the DOD produces documents as required under the law. 

Statement from Dan Epstein, America First Legal Vice President:

“America First Legal’s suit today raises significant legal questions the Biden Administration must confront. First, the President’s Information Technology Committee presumes that all information received by the President is within his control. That principle complicates the indictment by the Special Counsel’s Office, particularly on the question of what President Trump was authorized to access and retain. Alternatively, if the Court finds that records subject to PITC are agency records, not presidential records, and were separately preserved by the Department of Defense, then it raises serious questions about the National Archives’ decision to refer Trump to the Department of Justice as that referral would be based on the false claim that President Trump removed presidential records.” said Dan Epstein.

Read the lawsuit here.

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