Menu

FOIA on Agency Contacts

Jump to

When Protect Democracy launched as an organization, our first project was an educational memo about the decades-long bipartisan history of White House staff avoiding interference with federal law enforcement. Since the Nixon Administration, successive administrations have re-established the White House contacts policy as official guidance for its staff to prevent them from communicating with the Department of Justice (DOJ), and other federal agencies, on particular investigations to ensure the independence of law enforcement functions. Not only has President Trump undermined this democratic norm by asserting an “absolute right to to do what I want to do with the Justice Department,” but he and his Administration have repeatedly sought to tell the Justice Department to initiate investigations against a political rival, end investigations for an ally, and influence the direction of enforcement matters. Protect Democracy filed a lawsuit to require DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to respond to our FOIA requests for instances of White House communications about law enforcement investigations and cases. Public reports of the White House’s interference have been serious enough; our lawsuit is intended to reveal what could be even more harmful — what the White House does in secret. The public also deserves to know if DOJ has been able to maintain its integrity by withstanding the White House’s political pressure.

Help Protect Democracy

History has shown that the best way to protect democracy is by standing united in its defense. Your contribution will help us to scale up our efforts to educate, advocate, organize, and litigate on behalf of the values we all hold dear.

Donate

Be an informed American.

An engaged and informed public is at the heart of American democracy. Sign up to receive updates that will keep us all informed about the threats we face and how we can fight to protect our democracy together.