American Oversight Launches Investigation of President Trump’s Border Wall

Red Flags for Corruption and Conflicts of Interest as President Trump Pledges to Personally Negotiate Wall Contracts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With President Trump’s proposed border wall estimated to cost American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, American Oversight today announced the launch of Audit the Wall, a new initiative to investigate and track the costs and any malfeasance related to the project.

“The first shovel hasn’t hit even the ground, and there are already clear warning signs of corruption in President Trump’s wall project,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “The president’s promise to personally negotiate contracts raises the potential for favoritism, and there will be no end of ethical issues from questionable uses of eminent domain and government contractors angling for a piece of this pork-filled pie.”

American Oversight launched a new website, AuditTheWall.org, to track the progress of its investigation, post documents, and report on key findings. The site will serve as a clearinghouse for information about the border wall project as it moves forward.

This week, American Oversight submitted seven Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking records and emails regarding the cost, schedule, design, and impact of the proposed wall, as well as whether and how eminent domain will be used to acquire land from private citizens along the border. Many more FOIA requests are planned targeting federal government agencies as well as border states. American Oversight has also demanded background information on political appointees at DHS to monitor their involvement.

The FOIA requests submitted by American Oversight include:

  • All records concerning the schedule for the initiation, construction, and completion of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border;
  • All communications, informational materials, talking points, reports, assessments, analyses, or other materials regarding the cost of the proposed wall;
  • Any assessments regarding the eminent domain requirements for the construction of the wall;
  • Any contracts, requests for proposals, or solicitations regarding construction of the wall; and
  • Any communications regarding environmental impact statements related to the proposed wall.

Evers continued, “Congress is preaching the gospel of fiscal austerity when it comes to the budget, but it seems no cost is too high when it comes to helping the president fulfill a campaign promise of dubious utility. American Oversight will audit the wall because Congress won’t — and the American people deserve to know where our money is going.”

Part of Investigation:

Related Blog Posts

October 17, 2017

5 Questions for Attorney General Sessions

Department of Justice
October 10, 2017

New Lawsuit Seeks Answers about Ben Carson’s Management of HUD

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Investigation Update
October 6, 2017

American Oversight Calls for Investigation of Manhattan DA Vance’s Failure to Investigate Fraud at Trump SoHo Development

General News
October 5, 2017

Lawsuit Seeks Records of Lolita Zinke’s Travel, Role at Department of the Interior

Department of the Interior
General News
October 3, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Calendars Show Deep Industry Connections

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
September 29, 2017

“Serious, Likely Irreparable” Damage from Border Wall

Department of the Interior
Investigation Update
September 7, 2017

Investigating EPA’s Attacks on a Journalist

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
September 2, 2017

DOJ Confirms Trump Lied in “Wiretap” Tweets

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
August 30, 2017

Watchdog Groups Launch Joint Investigation into EPA Oversight of Toxic Substances Control Act

Investigation Update
August 28, 2017

Statement on EPA IG Investigation of Pruitt Travel

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
August 18, 2017

Resume Shows Trump Appointee Falsified Credentials

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Investigation Update
August 1, 2017

American Oversight Obtains Attorney General Sessions SF-86 Signature Page

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
August 1, 2017

Statement on Waiver of Environmental Regulations for Border Wall

Investigation Update
July 27, 2017

Call for OSC Investigation of Pruitt Travel to Oklahoma

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
July 26, 2017

American Oversight Sues FCC to Obtain Net Neutrality Communications with Industry Groups

Federal Communications Commission
Investigation Update
July 21, 2017

American Oversight Calls for Resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
General News
Investigation Update
July 13, 2017

DOJ Releases Redacted Page of Sessions’s SF-86 to American Oversight

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
June 27, 2017

American Oversight Sues EPA to Release Pruitt’s Calendars and Communications with Carl Icahn

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
June 22, 2017

American Oversight and Environmental Working Group Challenge EPA Over Failure to Release Pesticide Records

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
June 16, 2017

Watchdog Group Files Lawsuit on Trump Border Wall

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
May 24, 2017

After American Oversight Lawsuit, DOJ Confirms that Sessions Lied about Russian Contacts

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 16, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Comey-Trump Memos

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 12, 2017

Letter to Burr and Warner: Senate Should Request Trump-Comey Tapes

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 10, 2017

Statement on the Firing of FBI Director Comey

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 10, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Calls for IG Investigation of Sessions for Violating Recusal

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
April 26, 2017

American Oversight Seeks Release of FCC Net Neutrality Communications

Federal Communications Commission
Investigation Update
April 19, 2017

American Oversight Sues DOJ for Release of Trump Tower Wiretap Records, Russia Investigation Documents

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, White House
Investigation Update
April 14, 2017

Statement on White House Decision to Keep Visitor Logs Secret

White House
General News
April 14, 2017

Broad Coalition of Transparency Advocates Call for White House to Release Visitor Logs

White House
General News
April 12, 2017

American Oversight and Environmental Working Group Demand Release of Pruitt Communications with Pesticide Industry

Environmental Protection Agency
Investigation Update
April 4, 2017

10 Questions about the Border Wall that Deserve Big, Beautiful Answers

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior
Investigation Update
March 28, 2017

Statement on Trump Administration Proposal to Build Border Wall South of Rio Grande

Department of the Interior
Investigation Update
March 23, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Secret Health Care Negotiations

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
March 22, 2017

Statement on Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes’ Actions

Investigation Update
March 17, 2017

American Oversight Calls on Congress to Investigate Trump Aide’s Reported Ties to Nazi Group

Office of Government Ethics, White House
General News