WASHINGTON (CN) — A Politico reporter sued the CIA and FBI for the 2-page synopsis they gave President Donald Trump in a national security briefing about the 35-page “dossier” with salacious allegations about him in Russia, and whether the agencies believe the allegations are substantiated.
The James Madison and Josh Gerstein also sued the Department of Defense and the Office of Director of National Intelligence in the Jan. 23 federal FOIA complaint.
“President Trump’s expansive financial connections (much of the details of which remain private) already had raised significant concerns regarding potential exposure to foreign influence, and arguably are implicated by the unverified claims contained in the 35-page ‘dossier,’” the complaint states.
Gerstein is senior White House reporter for Politico, “and a representative of the news media,” he says in the complaint.
The 35-page “dossier” compiled by a former British intelligence agency was released in its entirety by Buzzfeed. It contains outlandish allegations, such as Trump’s ordering Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed in a Moscow hotel because President Obama had slept there. Russia has a long history of using compromising personal information, or klompromat, against foreign officials.
Gerstein and the Madison Project do not want the “dossier,” however; they want the 2-page synopsis of it the U.S. intelligence agencies gave to Trump at “a sensitive debriefing session by senior Intelligence Community officials and President Trump.”
“This lawsuit ultimately will seek to secure not only a copy of the two-page synopsis, but will also flesh out the extent to which the Intelligence Community had investigated the veracity (or lack thereof) of the claims in the 35-page dossier prior to creating the two page synopsis,” the complaint states.
It also seeks “investigative files relied upon in reaching the final determinations” because “the possibility of one or more of the allegations being accurate raises significant concerns about possible exposure President Trump has to foreign exploitation or blackmail.”
Attorney Bradley Moss, with the James Madison Project, said in an email: “Despite the obvious public interest attached to those allegations, the CIA took the position that there was no compelling need to expedite the production of the records. National security, indeed.”
The plaintiffs seek expedited processing of their freedom of information request, the documents, and attorney's fees.
The Department of Justice, the CIA, the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the NSA did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
The plaintiffs are represented by Moss and Mark Zaid.