NEW YORK — Former Obama administration officials are calling for an investigation into President Donald Trump’s “disgustingly” and “unacceptable” tweets during the 2016 campaign, arguing that they undermine democratic values.
In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former White House Counsel Neil Eggleston, the group of former Obama administration lawyers, all members of the law firm of Boies, Schiller, Flexner and Flexner, said Trump’s tweets are a direct violation of the First Amendment.
In the letter, the lawyers say Trump’s statements on issues of public concern and public trust should be treated with the seriousness of a grave crime.
“We hope this administration will exercise restraint and refrain from sending out statements that violate the First and Fifth Amendments and threaten democracy itself,” they wrote.
The law firm said Trump has been accused of violating the First, Fifth and 14th Amendments, which guarantee the freedom of speech and expression.
It said Trump and his allies are undermining the political system by tweeting at people, using social media platforms to promote their own political agendas, and engaging in partisan partisan attacks.
The lawyers also wrote that Trump’s use of Twitter violates the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which require that political speech be registered.
The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, was the first formal complaint the group has made in response to Trump since he took office.
The law firm was hired by former President Barack Obama’s administration to represent the Trump campaign.
The firm has filed multiple complaints with the Justice Department about Trump’s activities during the campaign.
The group of eight former officials also called for an inquiry into the White House, saying that Trump has violated the Hatch Act, which bars foreign agents from working in the U.S. government.
The group also said Trump is violating the constitutional prohibition against the appearance of impropriety.
They also wrote Trump should be prosecuted for his use of a private email account to conduct official business.
Trump has denied the accusations, which have been made against him in a series of media reports.
The president has maintained his campaign had no knowledge of the communications and said they were not inappropriate for the White, the FBI or the government.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment.
Trump’s use on social media is the latest example of Trump’s increasingly partisan and divisive campaign, which was widely criticized in the aftermath of the Nov. 8 election.
Trump also tweeted at the end of November that he will be releasing his tax returns, which would be the first time he has released them in eight years.
Trump, who has been plagued by controversies over his business dealings, was forced to apologize for using private email during the transition after reports surfaced that he used his personal account for government business.
Trump has maintained that he did not use private email.