Vivek Ramaswamy announced Tuesday that he had filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department after it failed to respond to his Freedom of Information Act request about the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.
The Republican presidential-primary hopeful tweeted Tuesday night that he had “just filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice following its failure to substantively respond to my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.”
The request, he said, sought “to uncover what White House officials, including President Joe Biden, communicated to Merrick Garland & 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.”
“I’m also filing a separate FOIA request with the DOJ to uncover any similar communications relating to the just-issued Jan 6 Trump indictment. We should demand accountability and transparency,” he said.
The Washington Times reached out to the Justice Department but did not hear back.
Mr. Ramaswamy’s announcement came on the heels of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s 4-count federal indictment against Mr. Trump on four criminal charges stemming from the former president’s efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election and the events surrounding the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.
The four-count, 45-page indictment accuses Mr. Trump of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.
Prosecutors say Mr. Trump was so desperate to remain in power that for two months after the November election that he “spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he actually had won.”
“These claims were false, the defendant knew they were false. But the defendant 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,” prosecutors wrote.
But Mr. Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur surging in the polls among GOP primary voters, denounced those grounds, 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.”
Mr. Smith has “created a dangerous precedent,” Mr. Ramaswamy said, accusing him of “criminalizing the behavior of Trump’s lawyers who offered him legal advice, labeling them co-conspirators instead.”
Mr. Trump’s campaign denied he had committed any wrongdoing and accused Mr. Biden of weaponizing the Justice Department to subvert his presidential campaign.
Mr. Garland appeared before reporters on Tuesday following the indictment and said prosecutors “followed the facts and the law.”
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