America First Legal Sues HHS for Unlawfully Hiding Federal Records that Dr. Fauci’s Senior Advisor Intentionally Subverted from Federal Custody by Illegally Using Personal Email for Official Business

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, America First Legal (AFL) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for unlawfully concealing federal records about Dr. David Morens, former Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), who used a personal email address to conduct official government business.

This is AFL’s second lawsuit against the federal government’s health apparatus for illegally destroying or evading the Federal Records Act. AFL recently sued the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Becerra and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for illegally deleting former CDC employees’ emails. 

Dr. Morens illegally used his personal email address for official business to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and had offered to destroy emails sent to his official account, as shown by documents released by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Just recently, Dr. Morens was subpoenaed on April 16, 2024, after “Recent whistleblower allegations revealed new, additional evidence that Dr. Morens intentionally used his personal email to hide conversations about the origins of COVID-19 and subvert federal transparency laws.”

In one obtained email, Dr. Morens confessed that he “tr[ies] to always communicate on Gmail because [his] NIH email is FOIA’d constantly.” In the same email, he explains that his Gmail account was “hacked” and he was forced to resume the use of his NIH account for sensitive matters, but he reassured his contacts that he would “delete anything [he doesn’t] want to see in the New York Times.”

These disturbing emails reveal that Dr. Morens deliberately chose to evade federal records retention and transparency laws by using a private email account for official business and engaged in a planned and systematic destruction of government records. Destruction or unlawful removal of these records is a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 2071.

In July, AFL requested all the documents that Dr. Morens had attempted to destroy or remove from federal custody. After months of obstruction, AFL has sued HHS. 

Statement from America First Legal Vice President Dan Epstein: 

“Once again the American people must bear witness to the Biden Administration’s double standards. Using personal email accounts for official government business in order to evade the FOIA is illegal. Yet instead of this Administration looking to hold itself accountable for violating federal records laws it has chosen instead to prosecute a former President and political enemy. Such a reduction of the law to politics is tantamount to lawlessness” said Dan Epstein.

Read the lawsuit here.

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