Trump fights releasing details on national monument decision

Published on February 13, 2018 at 02:01PM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. government says it doesn’t have to release documents involving legal arguments for President Donald Trump’s decision to shrink national monuments because they’re protected presidential communications.

The Department of Justice made a more detailed request of a federal judge in Idaho last week to dismiss a lawsuit from an environmental law firm.

Advocates for the West sued for 12 documents withheld from a public records request related to Trump’s decision to reduce two sprawling monuments in Utah. He’s considering scaling back others.

The firm says documents written during the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations may justify why they made the monuments as large as they did and thus undercut Trump’s plans to shrink them.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to inquiries Tuesday from The Associated Press.