Case Study

Democracy Forward Foundation v. State Department

Administration Refuses to Disclose Documents That Would Shed Light On Whether America’s Top Diplomat Questioned Trump’s Fitness For Office

 

Washington, D.C. — Democracy Forward filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State after it refused to disclose details of recently-fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s reported concerns about President Trump’s fitness to carry out his Constitutional duties as Commander in Chief.  The new suit comes as the White House prepares for high-stakes negotiations with North Korea.

 

In October 2017, Tillerson held an unscheduled press conference to rebut news reports that he called President Trump a “moron” after the President indicated his desire to dramatically expand the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile to ten times its current size.  At the press conference, Tillerson declined to directly answer questions about whether he had questioned the President’s fitness for office.  The State Department later issued a terse denial through a spokesperson.

 

On October 4, 2017, the day of Tillerson’s unplanned press briefing, Democracy Forward filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records regarding the Secretary’s concerns for the President’s fitness to be President, and attempts by the White House to orchestrate Secretary Tillerson’s public response to manage the fallout.

 

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Read the FOIA request here.

Documents

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