Tags: judge | probe | trump | statement | dossier

Politico: Judge Mulling Probe Over Trump's Statements on Dossier

Image: Politico: Judge Mulling Probe Over Trump's Statements on Dossier
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 18 November 2017 09:17 AM

President Donald Trump's own tweets and public statements could force the FBI to reveal how it worked to verify claims contained in a dossier purporting to outline his ties to Russia, a federal judge hearing arguments a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit said Friday.

"When the president says Mr. [James] Comey — former director Comey — brought the dossier to me, isn’t that an acknowledgement that the FBI possesses the dossier?" U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta asked, reports Politico reporter Josh Gerstein, who in conjunction with the pro-transparency group, the James Madison Project, brought the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is testing whether such public statements allow the government to refuse confirming that officials tried to verify the claims in the controversial dossier, which was privately commissioned during the 2016 election.

The hearing, held at the federal courthouse, mainly centered on whether Trump's statements could mean that the government had investigated the claims in the dossier, as the president has often called them "fake."

Justice Department lawyer David Glass on Friday said Trump's comment was too vague to force a detailed response to the FOIA lawsuit.

However, an attorney for the people bringing the suit argued that unless the White House clarifies Trump's comments, the court should then assume he was speaking officially and based on his official knowledge.

"He’s saying it is discredited. It has been discredited," lawyer Brad Moss said. "If the White House or whatever defendant wants to clarify it, that’s their prerogative, but until that, there’s a factual discrepancy."

Trump has also said his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, should be investigated and put in jail, noted Mehta, and asked if that was an official Justice Department ruling or if the president was voicing his personal opinion.

Moss said the court might need to order a fact-finding exercise, and Mehta asked if that meant he wanted to "depose the president."

"As much as I would like that, that is not necessarily something I would think is necessary at this point," Moss said.

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Politics
President Donald Trump's own tweets and public statements could force the FBI to reveal how it worked to verify claims contained in a dossier purporting to outline his ties to Russia, a federal judge hearing arguments a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit said Friday.
judge, probe, trump, statement, dossier
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2017-17-18
Saturday, 18 November 2017 09:17 AM
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