September 14, 2016 Last Updated 11:04 am

VICE News files FOIA lawsuit against DOJ and the IRS for Donald Trump audits

The suit was filed jointly with Ryan Shapiro, a doctoral candidate at MIT and research affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

The digital news outfit VICE News has filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Washington, DC asking the IRS to hand over audits of Donald Trump going back to 2002. Any case they could actually win? It would be interesting to see what legal blogs have to say about its chances.

The lawsuit comes after VICE News filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and asked for expedited processing due to the upcoming election on Nov. 8. But the lawuit states that the “IRS has failed to grant or even rule on Plaintiffs’ request for expedited processing. The FBI has failed to grant or even rule on Plaintiffs’ request for expedited processing.”

What VICE is asking the court to rule is that the two agencies have failed to comply with FOIA, to process the fees, and award attorney fees. (See PDF of lawsuit.)

Major news outlets like The New York Times routinely file FOIA requests, and fight their battles quietly – there are simply too many such battles to make a big deal of them every time an agency fails to comply with a FOIA request.

But sometimes it takes someone smaller to shake the tree and see what falls out.

The suit comes on the same day that polls are turning in Donald Trump’s favor. Bloomberg today released a poll showing the Republican nominee up five points in Ohio. The LA Times/USC Tracking poll shows Trump up now five points nationally – though this poll should be taken with a grain of salt as it is really a panel survey, made up of the same pool of respondents. As a result, the poll shows trending, but its overall numbers may not jive with other national polls where the survey pool varies.

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