Update: CREW appealed the March 5, 2020 determination of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (“EOUSA”) with respect to the FOIA request below. In response, EOUSA affirmed its initial action related to CREW’s request. Read the response to our appeal here.

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CREW requested records from the Department of Justice of all contact between President Donald Trump, White House employees, or personal attorneys to Trump and the DOJ that include communications regarding investigations, requests for investigations, or other inquiries regarding past and current candidates for the 2020 presidential election. CREW also requested DOJ records from Trump inquiries into candidates’ family members, campaign committees, campaign staff, or businesses.

In July 2019, Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a phone call in which Trump sought personal favors from Zelensky, including an investigation into one of his 2020 political rivals, Joe Biden. Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and other senior US officials were also involved, and these actions resulted in the House of Representatives launching an impeachment inquiry and ultimately impeaching Trump. 

Given Trump’s past history of abusing his power and pushing for investigations into his political rivals, the requested communications could help shed light on the extent of Trump’s abuses of power. The requests have been expedited due to the widespread media interest in these communications.

CREW requests records on Trump inquiries into other 2020 candidates.

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