A lawsuit filed by a legal group founded with ties to Donald Trump against the Biden administration could have major implications for special counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents case against the former president.

Last month, a nonprofit legal organization filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, accusing it of deleting federal employees’ emails in violation of existing statutes, Fox News reported. In a comprehensive complaint submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the America First Legal Foundation (AFL), led by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, accused the Department of Health and Human Services of routinely deleting official emails, thereby violating the Federal Records Act.

The complaint also listed the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), responsible for overseeing the improper disposal of federal records, as a defendant. “If the National Archives decides not to use the legal authorities it has regarding federal records, it certainly shouldn’t make up legal authority that it doesn’t have when it comes to presidential records,” America First Legal Vice President Dan Epstein told the outlet.

“We expect our government to act in a transparent and accountable way and exercise equanimity when it decides to investigate certain allegations. We clearly haven’t seen that in this case,” he noted further. According to Epstein, the lawsuit will have major implications on Special Counsel Jack Smith’s ongoing case against former President Trump.

Smith is leading the prosecution against Trump regarding the former president’s management of classified documents and other presidential records following his departure from the White House in early 2021. In June 2023, the Department of Justice revealed a federal indictment against Trump, charging him with 37 felony counts related to obstruction of justice and mishandling government records.

Epstein, however, contended that Trump is being subjected to a different standard compared to federal employees who routinely delete emails and records without facing consequences. He asserted that potentially tens of thousands of records are deleted annually without proper authorization, Fox reported.

The AFL’s lawsuit stems from a records request made in February 2023 under the Freedom of Information Act with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The request specifically sought records pertaining to the CDC’s endorsement of “teacher-led indoctrination of children with radical gender ideology.” Shortly after, a CDC officer informed the AFL via email that the agency deletes most employee files 30 days after their departure.

“That is correct,” the officer said in an email to the AFL. “Unless they were a capstone director/manager etc., it is my understanding all other employees’ emails are deleted 30 days after they leave the agency.” When the matter was brought to NARA, the AFL said the agency determined that, because the “CDC instructs individual email account holders to apply retention based on the email’s content value and its applicability to a NARA-approved records schedule,” the matter was considered closed.

“In effect, it appears that NARA entrusts individual CDC employees to decide which emails can be automatically deleted,” the group said in a statement.

Federal law says that government agencies must “make and preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency and designed to furnish the information necessary to protect the legal and financial rights of the Government and of persons directly affected by the agency’s activities.” According to the AFL, NARA’s conclusion is “patently inconsistent with the law.”

“You have maybe tens of thousands of government records every year that are destroyed without authority,” Epstein told Fox News Digital. “But when it comes to Donald Trump, he gets prosecuted. Everyone else who doesn’t have to stand for election gets a free pass.”


Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.