USA Today reporter Brad Heath had filed a FOIA request with the FBI on March 6, two days after Trump made the explosive claim on Twitter, requesting records of surveillance "in their entirety,” but has not yet received any “substantive response” from the bureau.
Heath seeks to determine “whether there was an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (‘FISC’) authorizing surveillance of and/or collection of information implicating President Donald J. Trump,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit cites Representative Devin Nunes stating that campaign officials were surveilled under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Though FISA records are generally kept secret, Heath has argued that comments by Trump and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer "constitute prior official disclosure," and that the records should now be made public.
“The comments of President Trump and Press Secretary Sean Spicer constitute prior official disclosure of the existence of surveillance orders issued by the FISC and that authorized collection of information that, at a minimum, incidentally implicated President Trump and/or his associates,” the complaint reads. “This lawsuit ultimately will seek to determine the circumstances in which specific surveillance/collection orders were issued by the FISC.”
Heath claims in the lawsuit that there is “no legal basis” for the FBI to deny sending him the information in his request.
USA Today has been working with the James Madison Project in pursuing the information. The organization describes themselves as “a Washington, DC organization that was established in 1998, to promote government accountability and the reduction of secrecy, as well as to educate the public on issues relating to intelligence and national security through means of research, advocacy and the dissemination of information.”