On Wednesday, American Oversight sued the Trump administration to compel the release of documents related to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s and other senior officials’ role in shaping the federal government’s response to the coronavirus.
In April, we filed a suite of Freedom of Information Act requests with the Treasury Department seeking records that may shed light on the influence that lobbyists, banks or private interests — including President Donald Trump’s personal business — might have had over where taxpayer money was directed in the coronavirus stimulus package. The requests seek Mnuchin’s and other officials’ calendars and external emails for the first three months of the year, as well as their communications with Jared Kushner or Ivanka Trump.
The lawsuit, filed after the Treasury failed to release any responsive documents, is part of our investigation into the disbursement and oversight of coronavirus relief funds. We have also sued the Trump administration for failing to release coronavirus-related emails sent by two dozen top officials at the Departments of the Treasury, State, and Health and Human Services, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the administration has fought to hide important information from the public,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “The coronavirus has created an unprecedented opportunity for kickbacks and cronyism. We are suing for these records because public disclosure is essential to ensuring that during this crisis the Treasury Department is serving the public and not special interests.”
American Oversight has also filed FOIA requests for Internal Revenue Service and Treasury records regarding the unnecessary addition of Trump’s signature on stimulus checks; for communications between the Office of Management and Budget and Jared Kushner or Ivanka Trump; for records of the president’s March 11 meeting with bank executives; and for the disclosure of the largest recipients of Paycheck Protection Program loans.
More information on our investigation, the records we’ve received, and a comprehensive list of our coronavirus-related public records requests are available here.
Part of Investigation: