In May 2017, the nonprofit Protect Democracy filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the Trump administration's legal justification behind the U.S. airstrikes in Syria during April of that year. The litigation produced proof of a seven-page legal memo analyzing the legal basis for the strikes, which the Justice Department has not yet released. Months later, on February 8, 2018, Senator Tim Kaine requested the release of that memo in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Justin Florence of Protect Democracy announced the lawsuit on Lawfare in May, and you can find a copy of the initial complaint in his original post. But we thought it would be worthwhile to provide the relevant legal documents generated by the suit over the last few months. We've also included Kaine's letter to Tillerson.
(Full disclosure: Protect Democracy represents Lawfare's Editor in Chief, Benjamin Wittes, in FOIA matters unrelated to the topic of this post.)
- Motion for Preliminary Injunction (5/22/17)
- Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part a Preliminary Injunction (7/13/17)
- Government declarations (11/17/17)
- Motion for Summary Judgement (12/8/17)
- Second Declaration of Paul P. Colborn (1/9/18)
- Reply Memorandum in Support of the Cross Motion for Summary Judgment (1/23/18)
- Kaine letter to Tillerson (1/8/18)