Alarms and lawsuits over Trump administration’s failure to create records

The State Department and its chief Mike Pompeo are being sued for failure to create and preserve State Department records. The National Security Archive, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government, and Historians of American Foreign Relations already sued the State Department last May for not keeping records of meetings with foreign leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The current lawsuit comes after Ambassador Gordon Sondland made sure no one was keeping records of President Donald Trump’s June 28 telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. (National Security Archive, November 5, 2019, press release)

American Oversight and Democracy Forward sued in June over reports that Trump seized notes from a meeting with Putin and failed to keep records of their other meetings. Law professor Douglas Cox said, “When you’re talking about meetings at this level of importance that involve foreign policy and national security, the idea that they wouldn’t be fully documented and that in the future we won’t know what happened is remarkable and disturbing.” (Time, June 18, 2019, by Lauren Harper and Tom Blanton)

For earlier FAC coverage, click here and here.