Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly failing to respond to his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.
Mr. Ramaswamy announced the lawsuit, filed in district court in Columbia on Aug. 1, in a statement on Twitter, now known as X.
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The GOP 2024 presidential candidate accused the DOJ of having failed to “substantively respond” to his FOIA request to “uncover what White House officials, including President Joe Biden, communicated to [Attorney General] Merrick Garland and [special counsel] Jack Smith about the unprecedented indictment in the classified documents case of a former U.S. President and one of Biden’s political opponents in the 2024 Presidential election.”
The Epoch Times has contacted the Justice Department for comment. The biotech entrepreneur said he is also filing a new FOIA records request for more details regarding “any similar communications” relating to the recently-issued indictment against Mr. Trump.
On Tuesday, a grand jury convened by special counsel Smith to investigate the former president and his allies’ alleged attempts to dispute the 2020 election charged Mr. Trump in a 45-page indictment (pdf).
According to the indictment, Mr. Trump was charged with both conspiring to impede the Jan. 6 congressional proceeding and of attempting to obstruct and obstructing the certification of the electoral vote. He is also charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.
The indictment also lists six alleged unnamed co-conspirators, four of whom are attorneys and one of whom was a Department of Justice official.
Indictment ‘Pathetic’ Trump Says
The indictment against the former president acknowledges that all Americans, including Mr. Trump, have the right to speak publicly about the election and even claim that he won. Mr. Trump said he was also “entitled to formally challenge” the election results, the indictment states.
However, Mr. Trump, prosecutors wrote in the indictment, knew his claims about winning were false but “repeated and widely disseminated them anyway — to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger and erode public faith in the administration of elections.”
He also allegedly “pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results,” prosecutors said.
The Trump campaign has called the new indictment “the latest corrupt chapter in the continued pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election, in which President Trump is the undisputed frontrunner and leading by substantial margins.”
Mr. Ramaswamy, in his lengthy post on X, claimed the indictment against Mr. Trump was based on “unprecedented legal theory” citing the U.S. Supreme Court case U.S. v. Alvarez, which held that political candidates even have a First Amendment right to make inaccurate statements knowingly.
“If you’re going to indict a former president and leading presidential candidate, it better not be based on unprecedented legal theory,” he said. “Further, it’s more than a stretch to call something criminal if someone is seeking legal counsel from their own lawyers.”
“Jack Smith has created a dangerous precedent by criminalizing the behavior of Trump’s lawyers who offered him legal advice, labeling them co-conspirators instead,” Mr. Ramaswamy continued. “This jeopardizes the future of our legal system. If we fail to admit the truth, Jan 6 will just be a preview of far worse to come. We must reunite this country, but the path forward will not be easy.”
The request was for “documents and records in DOJ’s possession related to the decision to bring a federal criminal indictment” against Mr. Trump after he was indicted by a grand jury in Miami on 37 felony charges, including the willful retention of national defense information and conspiring to obstruct justice. That indictment followed a separate DOJ investigation.
Mr. Ramaswamy notes that FOIAs require a federal administrative agency to “promptly make available” the requested documents within 20 working days of them being requested, except for in the case of “unusual circumstances” under which 10 additional days are granted. However, more than 30 days have passed since he first filed the FOIA, the Republican 2024 candidate said.
“The Campaign accordingly brings this suit to compel DOJ to immediately respond to the Campaign’s FOIA request and promptly disclose all responsive, non-exempt records,” the filing reads.
Mr. Ramaswamy’s lawsuit against the DOJ comes after he settled a separate lawsuit with the World Economic Forum (WEF) after accusing the organization of falsely and inaccurately associating him with their “Young Global Leaders” program.
Mr. Ramaswamy settled the lawsuit for an unknown amount and has vowed to donate the settlement money to a conservative nonprofit, the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), “because it stands for American interests against the WEF agenda.”
Article cross-posted from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times. Image by Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.