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NATIONAL SECRECY

An anti-secrecy group is suing the CIA to reveal what it actually did about the Trump “golden showers” dossier

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The winter of resistance.
  • Ephrat Livni
By Ephrat Livni

Senior reporter, law & politics, DC.

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The world learned the term ”golden showers” on Jan. 10 when a private intelligence agent’s unverified report documenting now US president Donald Trump’s sexual and financial activities in Russia during the last five years was widely publicized on Jan. 10.

On Jan. 23, a White House correspondent and a Washington, DC-based anti-secrecy non-profit group sued US intelligence agencies, demanding to see the internal two-page summary of the infamous report—the same synopsis reportedly shown to Trump—and to know what was done to investigate the allegations contained in it.

According to their filing, the plaintiffs became aware of the synopsis when CNN reported on Jan. 10 that Trump had a “sensitive debriefing” with senior intelligence community officials about Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was also reportedly provided with a two-page synopsis of the so-called “dossier.”

The complaint was filed in federal court in Washington, DC by Politico’s Josh Gerstein and the James Madison Project, which promotes openness in government and aims to educate the public about intelligence activities. It names the Department of Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency, The Office of the National Director of Intelligence, and the Department of Defense (technically, the DoD is a defendant because it controls the National Security Agency).

The plaintiffs are demanding immediate action on an expedited request filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Under FOIA rules, the agencies had 10 days to respond to the expedited request, but, the complaint says, they did not. In addition to seeking the two-page summary of the unverified report prepared for Trump, the plaintiffs also want to see what agencies did to investigate the claims and ensure the new US president isn’t a threat to national security.

“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’ (and, most likely, the two page synopsis),” the complaint states.

Buzzfeed was the first to publish the full dossier, noting that it includes “unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians.”

The lawsuit filed by Gerstein and the James Madison Project seeks verification. Their complaint states, “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.” Their filing was reported by Courthouse News on Jan. 25.

The plaintiffs are asking government agencies in possession the records to release “investigative files relied upon in reaching the final determinations” that the report was not problematic for the US or its new president 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.”

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