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:

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