This article originally appeared in Truth Dig.
Elliott J. Schuchardt is suing Donald Trump for allegedly violating his Fourth Amendment rights. The Tennessee lawyer has filed a civil lawsuit in Pennsylvania against the president of the United States, the director of the Office of National Intelligence, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the director of the National Security Agency who is also chief of the Central Security Service. Schuchardt contends that the defendants are “unlawfully intercepting, accessing, monitoring and/or [his] private communications.”
The lawsuit represents a longstanding legal battle Schuchardt has waged against top U.S. intelligence officials that started when Barack Obama was president. William Binney, a former U.S. intelligence official and NSA whistleblower, is supporting Schuchardt’s most recent legal case.
The plaintiff claims that his Fourth Amendment rights have been violated by government surveillance programs. According to Ars Technica, “Schuchardt argued in his June 2014 complaint that both metadata and content of his Gmail, Facebook, and Dropbox accounts were compromised under the PRISM program as revealed in the documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.”
That case was dismissed for “lack of standing,” but Schuchardt has continued to file amended complaints related to U.S. intelligence activities.
“I’m making an allegation that no one else is making: I’m contending that the government is collecting full content of e-mail,” Schuchardt told Ars Technica in 2014. “I’m contending that they’re not doing it by PRISM but via [Executive Order] 12333. I’m not saying that this is being done on a case by case basis but that they’re grabbing it all. Where is that email residing? Is it back at the Google servers? I’m contending that this is on a government server. I am the only person in the U.S. who is objecting to those set of facts.”
Schuchardt, whose legal works focuses on “civil litigation, corporate law, personal injury, bankruptcy, divorce and child custody” cases, felt compelled to challenge the highest levels of American government.
“I’ve been following the issue before Snowden came forward,” Schuchardt said three years ago. “Then I started to watch it for that first year, and then when Congress was dragging its feet, I decided I was going to file the case when nothing got done, and when nothing got done, I decided to move forward.”
Last week, Binney, the NSA whistleblower, gave an affidavit in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania, opposing the defendants’ renewed motion to dismiss the second amended complaint.
2. I have reviewed the complaint in the complaint in the above-captioned civil lawsuit. It is my understanding, based on the Complaint, that the Plaintiff, Elliott Schuchardt, contends that the Defendants are “unlawfully intercepting, accessing, monitoring and/or storing [his] private communications.” (Complaint, ¶ 50.)
3. It is my understanding, based on the complaint, that Mr. Schuchardt is a consumer of various types of electronic communication, storage and internet-search services. These include the ‘e-mail services provided by Google and Yahoo; the internet search service provided by Google; the cloud storage services provided by Google and Dropbox; the e-mail and instant message services provided by Facebook; and the cell phone and text communication service provided by Verizon Communications.’ (Complaint, ¶ 49.)
4. The allegations in the Complaint are true and correct: Defendants are intercepting, accessing, monitoring and storing the Plaintiff’s private communications.