Since our launch in March 2017, we have obtained and published tens of thousands of documents from federal, state, and local government agencies. Records uncovered by American Oversight have supported congressional inquiries, investigative journalism, and independent actions by partner organizations — and our work has been featured in hundreds of news stories around the country.
We are open records specialists. We act where corruption and government power overlap. From the federal Freedom of Information Act to state transparency laws, we use carefully crafted records requests to extract information from the government —information they often don’t want the public to have. When the government fails to respond as required by law, our team has the legal expertise to take them to court and enforce the public’s right to hold our leaders accountable.
We believe in transparency and in sharing our work with others who are working to promote accountability in government. Through our online documents library, we make available the requests we submit, the lawsuits we file, and the government records we receive in response. We’ve published more than one million pages of records, and we’re obtaining and posting more every week.
We were founded in 2017 in response to the unprecedented challenges that the Trump administration posed to our nation’s democratic ideals and institutions. Four years later, the Trump presidency is over but the dangers it presented are far from defeated. American Oversight’s work is focused on exposing threats to democracy and attempts to restrict voting rights, investigating the mismanaged response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and ensuring that Trump-era abuses of power don’t happen again, among other important issues.
American Oversight has obtained and published more than one million pages of emails, memos, calendars, text messages, and other records — driving accountability and exposing misconduct at all levels of government, including:
Uncovering the paper trail — emails, calendars, text messages, and more — can shine a light on government misconduct, but it rarely tells the full story. That’s why we make our findings available online, and we’re always looking for ways to help journalists, government watchdogs, and independent organizations hold our leaders accountable.
American Oversight is a team of more than 35 lawyers, researchers, communicators, and more working across the country to expose misconduct and hold government accountable. Learn more about us here.