A Florida attorney who sued the Associated Press over its coverage of his office’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s election bid said on Friday he plans to file a lawsuit against the media company.
Mark Ciancio, a Republican, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Florida Bar Association on Thursday and said in a statement the AP violated Florida law by publishing articles from two Florida attorneys general in one week, without disclosing that the articles contained “information or material that was not privileged and protected from disclosure.”
CiancIO, the first Florida attorney to file an ethics complaint, said the AP’s coverage of the investigation amounted to “pandering.”
He said the publication of the articles “violated the Florida Constitution and the Florida Open Meetings Law, and constituted a serious threat to the integrity of the office of attorney general, including the integrity and independence of the AP, the Office of Public Information and the State Board of Elections.”
“The AP should have immediately reported that the attorney general’s office was investigating whether any of its articles were privileged and/or protected from discovery, and that it would have promptly produced to the public any information that would assist the AP in doing so,” he wrote in the lawsuit.
“If the AP had not published the articles, they would have discovered the existence of the investigations that led to their publication, which would have resulted in the appointment of an independent counsel and a public hearing.”
CiciancIo said the article in question, which included a story by Miami-based attorney Richard Painter, appeared in the AP last Thursday, a week before the AP began publishing the articles.
The lawsuit said the articles were “highly selective” and “appeared to be intended to advance an anti-Trump agenda.”
It also said the stories included information about a $5 million donation the attorney General’s Office had received from a company called the Podesta Group.
The attorney general said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Podesta donations were part of a broader investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia and other issues.
The AP reported that, in an email to The Associated