Lawsuit Seeks Records of Lobbying Efforts by Former Trump Associates
American Oversight today sued six Trump administration agencies to find out if members of President Trump’s inner circle – including Michael Cohen and Corey Lewandowski – exploited their connections to lobby senior officials.
“After campaigning on calls to ‘drain the swamp,’ the president’s top advisors immediately turned around and began cashing in on their access to the new administration,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “The only reason to hire Michael Cohen or Corey Lewandowski as a lobbyist was because of their personal connections to Donald Trump. The public deserves to know if the president’s political appointees, many of whom had also worked for the Trump campaign or Trump Organization, gave special access to Cohen, Lewandowski, or other former Trump associates.”
The lawsuit against the Departments of Defense, Justice, Health and Human Services, State, the Treasury, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeks the release of communications between senior political appointees at those agencies and Cohen, Lewandowski, former Trump aides Jason Osborne and Michael Rubino, and others affiliated with their lobbying practices. According to news reports, Cohen represented companies that had significant business before several of those agencies – including Korea Aerospace Industries, AT&T, and Novartis. Lewandowski, Osborne, and Rubino have been reported to work on behalf of various foreign governments.
The complaint is also seeking records from the FCC related to a Barcelona dinner meeting between Chairman Ajit Pai and the senior AT&T official who hired Cohen to lobby for the company. American Oversight uncovered the existence of that meeting, which took place on February 27, 2017, after obtaining Pai’s calendars through an earlier FOIA request and lawsuit.
In the lawsuit filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, American Oversight asks the court to order the agencies to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted on May 11, 2018. More than 100 days later, none of the agencies has provided the requested records.
See the complaint below: