(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) today filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. State Department, demanding that it follow the law and provide key records shedding light on its cover-up of the Obama Administration’s Iran deal.
It started last month, when the ACLJ announced it had filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain government records showing who in the Obama Administration were involved in censoring an official State Department press briefing video to delete an embarrassing admission that the Administration did not tell the truth about its negotiations with Iran.
In the complaint, the ACLJ contends the Obama Administration originally claimed the deletion was a “glitch,” but after receiving our FOIA request, it admitted the deletion was not a glitch, but was instead “deliberate.”
“This Administration’s track record in courts – which have repeatedly slapped down executive power grabs, foul play, unreasonable positions, and even bald-faced misrepresentations – is not good,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “Our legal team is prepared to litigate this case in order to enforce the rule of law and shed light on this shameful cover-up. Countless hours have already been invested, but countless more will be necessary. We intend to get to the bottom of this cover-up. Sometimes it takes filing a federal lawsuit to do that, and today that’s what we’ve done.” Sekulow added: “The manipulation, the hiding, has to stop. We intend to hold this Administration accountable by bringing these very troubling facts to light. The American people want answers and they deserve the truth.”
The State Department’s legal deadline to respond to our FOIA request (by advising whether it will comply, claiming a statutory exemption, or asking for more time) has passed, and it has failed to comply with FOIA’s clear and simple requirements. That is why the ACLJ filed a federal lawsuit today.
The ACLJ carefully crafted its requests to avoid arguable claims that the records being sought are exempted from disclosure. For example, the ACLJ did not seek sensitive records of the actual Iran negotiation, which would undoubtedly be withheld under the FOIA “foreign affairs” exemption.
Instead, the ACLJ only requested records addressing the cover-up – the decision to delete portions of the video and the decision to call it a “glitch.” FOIA provides no exemption for cover-ups.
“We demand the right to know who was involved in that cover-up,” said Sekulow. “The law protects our right to know. Today, we are taking the Obama Administration to court so the American people can unearth the truth behind President Obama’s Iranian deal.”
To date, more than 40,000 Americans have signed on to the ACLJ Committee to Demand the Truth about the Iran Negotiations.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law & Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
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