American Oversight’s 2019 in Review: Nine Important Stories We Uncovered

A recurring theme of 2019, a year that began with a new House majority and a record-long partial government shutdown, was President Donald Trump’s disdain for constitutional checks and balances, specifically his blanket obstruction of congressional oversight. In January, the administration was making excuses and blaming its failure to respond to requests on the shutdown. By the end of the year, the House of Representatives was voting to impeach the president for obstruction of congressional investigations.

In the meantime, American Oversight has been exposing governmental corruption and misconduct at the federal, state and local levels. And as the administration has refused to comply with congressional document requests, we’ve forced the release of thousands of pages of documents through the Freedom of Information Act, including, notably, records that had been withheld from congressional investigators in the impeachment inquiry against the president.

More evidence of the Trump administration’s efforts with regard to Ukraine will surface — and American Oversight will continue to receive and analyze public records from the nearly 1,600 FOIA requests and multiple lawsuits we filed in 2019. The paper trail of the Trump administration gets more detailed every day; here’s where that trail led us this past year.

IMPEACHMENT

1. Giuliani Communications with Secretary Pompeo and White House in March 2019

Late on a Friday night in November, the State Department provided American Oversight with nearly 100 pages of documents in response to our lawsuit for Ukraine-related records. Among the records were emails indicating that Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani talked with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo multiple times in the spring of 2019, right around the time that Giuliani was unleashing a smear campaign against then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. According to the documents, Oval Office gatekeeper Madeleine Westerhout even helped put Giuliani’s assistant in touch with the secretary’s office.

These records don’t just reveal a paper trail from Giuliani to the Oval Office to Pompeo; they are also further evidence of the administration’s unprecedented obstruction of Congress. In its impeachment inquiry, the House requested that the administration turn over related documents, but the Trump White House directed agencies not to comply with those requests. That American Oversight was able to obtain these records — just as we were able to obtain related Defense Department records on Dec. 20 — through Freedom of Information Act litigation indicates that the administration has no legal basis for withholding them from the legislative branch.

NATIONAL SECURITY

2. Nikki Haley Sent Classified Information on an Unclassified System

Back in July 2017, North Korea launched a test missile, alarming U.S. national-security officials. That same week, then-Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley apparently lost her password for her classified email system, leading her to send classified messages over her regular, non-classified system. We know this because the records we obtained in response to our FOIA request and lawsuit contained redactions that fall under the FOIA exemption for information classified for national-security reasons. The emails also include a message from a journalist for a Russian state-run media organization regarding Haley’s offer to share intelligence information with Russia.

Given the intense focus on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email during the 2016 presidential campaign, the Trump administration’s frequent issues with official email practices have continually raised serious concerns — and Haley’s use of a less-secure system during such a sensitive time is no exception. 

See also: In December, a federal judge denied the government’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit alleging that Pompeo and the National Archives and Records Administration had committed a serious violation of federal record-keeping law by allowing Trump to seize an interpreter’s notes after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017. 

IMMIGRATION

3. The Trump Administration Scrapped a Question Asking Asylum-Seekers Whether They Are Afraid to Be Returned to Mexico

This year, the administration began implementing its Migrant Protections Protocol policy, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” in which migrants seeking asylum at the southern border are sent back to Mexico to await their court dates (often for months and in dangerous border towns). We uncovered records, reported on by Buzzfeed, showing that Department of Homeland Security officials had initially planned to ask asylum-seekers whether they feared being returned to Mexico, but the question was ultimately cut. And asylum-seekers of course might not know they should, or can, express that fear.

Among other significant concerns, American Oversight also obtained internal communications indicating that immigration officials often don’t supply translation or language interpretation for asylum-seekers who speak only indigenous languages.

4. Kris Kobach Sent Nebraska Residents’ Names to ICE

During his unsuccessful run for governor in 2017, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach had sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement a list of names of people who had applied for occupancy licenses in Fremont, Neb. Years before, Kobach, who in 2017 served on Trump’s now-defunct “voter fraud” commission, had helped devise an ordinance in Fremont making it illegal for landlords to rent to undocumented immigrants. But that ordinance had been proving hard to enforce, and Kobach wanted ICE to “verify the immigration status” of all the 289 people on the list.

Kobach also suggested that ICE use the information they might collect for “ICE enforcement operations” — including deportation. Kobach, who is running for Senate in Kansas, has long been an alarmist about undocumented immigrants voting, and in this instance, as American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers said, “he used the power of government to compile a list of individuals and, if he had his way, to have ICE just sort of rummage through them.”

TRUMP’S CABINET AND ADVISERS

5. Secretary Chao and Sen. McConnell’s Coordination

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is being investigated — by both American Oversight and Congress — for potentially using her office to aid her family’s international shipping business. We also uncovered records that showed Chao’s office coordinating with the office of her husband, Sen. Mitch McConnell, meeting with Kentucky-specific interests a number of times at the behest of McConnell’s office, and creating a separate communication channel for Kentucky requests.

6. Secretary Ross’s Confusing Maze of Finances

The billionaire commerce secretary entered the administration with a host of complicated financial holdings, which has made parsing his ethics agreements and checking for compliance a difficult undertaking. But watchdogs have managed to learn a fair amount. For instance, his calendars have revealed multiple meetings that raise concerns about conflicts of interest, including a meeting with recently ousted Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg in March 2017 while his wife owned $3 million worth of stock in the company.

7. Stephen Miller’s Cross-Agency Network of Anti-Immigrant Officials

White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, the man behind some of the administration’s cruelest immigration policies, notoriously has taken pains to avoid putting much of his work in writing. At the same time, Miller has installed hand-picked, like-minded advisers across the administration to help him carry out his extremist views. American Oversight recently obtained emails that provide a glimpse into how one of those advisers — ICE Senior Adviser Jon Feere — worked with Miller to strategize, recommend hires, and provide updates.

TRUMP’S GET-RICHER PRESIDENCY

8. The President’s D.C. Hotel Remains Corruption Headquarters

Way back in January, national parks and other government sites across the country remained shuttered. But not the Old Post Office Tower in Washington, D.C., the site attached to the Trump International Hotel, which sits on government property. The tower remained open, leading to frustrations, as we found in emails, among the General Services Administration officials who had to explain why. Also in January, the GSA’s inspector general issued a report that found that the agency had failed to consider constitutional issues — i.e., emoluments — when it leased the property to the Trump Organization.

Trump’s refusal to financially divest from his real-estate business has meant that he has profited off events with and visits by government officials, from Attorney General William Barr’s $31,000 holiday party booking to former Ky. Gov. Matt Bevin’s stay that, as American Oversight discovered, was initially paid for by Kentucky taxpayers. And earlier this year, we reported that no federal agency had provided official guidance on spending taxpayer money at Trump properties. As the Trump Organization toys with selling its lease for that hotel, the president’s profit-making from his properties around the world remains a serious concern.

THREATS TO DEMOCRACY IN THE STATES

9. Georgia Voting Devices with ‘1234’ Password

This year, American Oversight launched our State Accountability Project, bringing our experience in open-records litigation to expose corruption at the state and local levels. The project began with a focus on Florida, Georgia and Texas, and in December, we obtained records indicating that voting devices in Georgia used “1234” as their default password, “an exceptionally weak security measure that makes the devices easy prey for hackers looking to disrupt voting in key precincts or sow chaos en masse.” State officials have said the passwords have been changed.

We may not know what 2020 will bring, but we do know that American Oversight will continue to uncover the facts and hold government — both federal and state — accountable. Thank you for your support.

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April 24, 2020

News Roundup: Miracle Drugs and Trump’s Alternate Reality

Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Prisons, Florida Department of Corrections, General Services Administration, Georgia - Albany-Dougherty County, Georgia - Chatham County, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia - Macon-Bibb County, Georgia - Muscogee County, Georgia - Richmond County, Georgia Department of Community Health, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, HHS - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, HHS - National Institutes of Health, Illinois - Cook County, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Texas Health and Human Services, USDA - Food Safety and Inspection Service, VA - Veterans Health Administration, Washington - King County
April 21, 2020

The Administration’s Attempts to Stonewall Investigations of Trump FBI Headquarters Interference Stumble in Court

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget
April 17, 2020

News Roundup: Who Stands to Gain?

Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Reserve, Florida, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Florida Department of Health, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida Office of the Governor, Georgia - Tybee Island City, Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State, Small Business Administration, Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Senate, Wisconsin State Assembly
April 10, 2020

News Roundup: Corruption and Coronavirus

Commerce - Census Bureau, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS - United States Secret Service, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, DOJ - Executive Office for Immigration Review, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - Justice Management Division, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, DOJ - Office of Legal Counsel, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, HHS - Indian Health Service, Nevada Department of Administration, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, U.S. Agency for International Development
April 6, 2020

Administration-Wide Indifference Continues on How to Ethically Handle Spending Taxpayer Money at Trump Properties

Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, DHS - United States Secret Service, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, DOJ - Office of Legal Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency, Small Business Administration
April 3, 2020

News Roundup: Whose Stockpile, and Which States?

California Office of the Governor, Central Intelligence Agency, Commerce - Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida - Broward County, Florida - Duval County, Florida - Gadsden County, Florida - Hendry County, Florida - Jackson County, Florida - Leon County, Florida - Miami-Dade County, Florida - Osceola County, Florida Office of the Governor, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, HHS - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, New York Office of the Governor, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Ohio Office of the Governor, Oklahoma Department of Health, Oklahoma Office of the Governor, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Washington - King County, Washington Office of the Governor
March 27, 2020

News Roundup: Transparency and Oversight Are More Important Than Ever

Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Executive Office for Immigration Review, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - National Security Division, DOJ - U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Election Commission, Florida Attorney General, Florida Department of State, Florida Office of the Governor, General Services Administration, Georgia - Bartow County, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Tennessee Valley Authority, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Texas Secretary of State
March 25, 2020

American Oversight Expands State Voting Rights Investigations to Wisconsin, New Hampshire

March 20, 2020

News Roundup: Testing, Messaging and Missed Chances

Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Federal Communications Commission, Florida Attorney General, Georgia Attorney General, Nevada Department of Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Texas - Harris County, Texas Attorney General
March 19, 2020

New Ukraine Documents: Gordon Sondland Emails

March 17, 2020

Floridians with Prior Felonies Need to Pay Fines Before Voting — But Documents Reveal the State Can’t Properly Track What They Owe

Florida - Hernando County, Florida - Hillsborough County, Florida - Leon County, Florida - Martin County, Florida - Okaloosa County, Florida Department of State
March 16, 2020

Energy Department Releases Records from Rick Perry’s May 2019 Trip to Ukraine

Department of Energy
March 13, 2020

News Roundup: Continuing Our Investigation of Coronavirus Response

Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Federal Reserve, Georgia Secretary of State, Texas Secretary of State, Washington State Department of Health, Wisconsin
March 11, 2020

OMB Releases New Ukraine-Related Emails to American Oversight

Office of Management and Budget
March 6, 2020

News Roundup: Rising Coronavirus Fears and Sinking Public Trust

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOI - Bureau of Land Management, DOJ - Criminal Division, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, Federal Reserve, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Department of Driver Services, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, HHS - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, HHS - National Institutes of Health, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Texas - Briscoe County, Texas - Freestone County, Texas - Hall County, Texas - Hill County, Texas - Hood County, Texas - Jones County, Texas - Kendall County, Texas - Lavaca County, Texas - Leon County, Texas - Limestone County, Texas - Loving County, Texas - Morris County, Texas - Scurry County, Texas - Starr County, Texas - Swisher County, Texas - Victoria County, Texas Secretary of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, VA - Veterans Health Administration, Washington - King County, Washington State Department of Health
February 28, 2020

“Final decision rests with POTUS”: Newly Released Defense Department Emails Show Esper, Pompeo and Bolton Thought Ukraine Aid Should Have Continued

Department of Defense
February 28, 2020

News Roundup: Launching Our Investigation of Trump’s Authoritarian Purges

Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, DOD - National Security Agency, DOI - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida - Hillsborough County, Florida - Leon County, Florida Department of State, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
February 26, 2020

New Lawsuit Seeks Information on Stephen Miller’s Involvement in Public Charge Rule

Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Labor, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
February 21, 2020

New State Department Ukraine Documents Released

Department of State
February 21, 2020

News Roundup: The Post-Impeachment Purge and the Knock of Authoritarianism

Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, DHS - United States Secret Service, DOI - Fish and Wildlife Service, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
February 21, 2020

New Lawsuit Seeks Records of Mitch McConnell’s Influence at Transportation, Energy, State Departments

Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of Transportation
February 21, 2020

When the Government Uses Redactions to Hide Evidence of Wrongdoing

Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Office of Management and Budget
February 14, 2020

News Roundup: Trump Has Learned His ‘Lesson’

Central Intelligence Agency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, Federal Reserve, Florida House of Representatives, Florida Senate, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Kentucky Office of the Governor, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Wisconsin Senate, Wisconsin State Assembly
February 14, 2020

New Lawsuit Seeks Records of Complaints About Mike Pompeo’s Conduct

Central Intelligence Agency, Department of State
February 11, 2020

The Facts Are Still Coming Out

Department of Defense, Office of Management and Budget
February 11, 2020

The Ukraine Investigation’s Unanswered Questions

Congress, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of State
February 10, 2020

Ukraine Investigation Update: Volker Text Messages

Department of State
February 7, 2020

News Roundup: Acquittal Isn’t the End

Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of State, Florida Department of State, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Secretary of State, Office of Management and Budget
February 6, 2020

The Investigation Continues: New Lawsuit Seeks Pence Ukraine Records

Department of State
February 5, 2020

Statement on Senate Impeachment Vote: Oversight Must and Will Continue

Congress
February 4, 2020

Energy Department Releases New Batch of Ukraine Documents

Department of Energy
January 31, 2020

News Roundup: Hear No Evil, See No Evil

Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, DOJ - Executive Office for Immigration Review, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Prisons, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Texas - Harris County, Texas Office of the Governor
January 31, 2020

Lifted Redactions Reveal August 2019 Esper Communications About Zelensky, Ukraine Assistance

Department of Defense, Office of Management and Budget
January 28, 2020

Energy Department Releases Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of Energy
January 27, 2020

American Oversight Is Investigating Impeachment Adviser Pam Bondi’s Communications with State Department Official

Department of State
January 24, 2020

News Roundup: Evidence of Obstruction

Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, DOT - Federal Aviation Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Communications Commission, Georgia - Clayton County, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Tennessee Valley Authority, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Texas Secretary of State, Texas Senate
January 22, 2020

OMB Releases 192 Pages of Ukraine Records to American Oversight

Office of Management and Budget
January 17, 2020

News Roundup: The Evidence Continues to Mount

Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia - Clayton County, Georgia - Hancock County, Georgia - Jefferson County, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
January 15, 2020

Updated Timeline: Messages About Yovanovitch Surveillance Happened Same Week as Giuliani-Pompeo Calls

Department of State
January 13, 2020

Energy Department Agrees to Release Ukraine Documents This Month

Department of Energy
January 10, 2020

State Department’s Release of Volker Calendars and Text Messages Raises Further Questions

Department of State
January 10, 2020

News Roundup: Presidential War Powers and New Impeachment Documents

Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida - Hernando County, Florida - Nassau County, Florida - Okaloosa County, Florida - Seminole County, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Department of State, Florida Office of the Governor, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
January 10, 2020

In the Documents: Investigating the Trump Administration’s Legal Analyses for Potential Use of Force Against Iran

Department of State
January 8, 2020

State Department Releases Additional Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of State
January 7, 2020

Did the Trump Administration Abuse the Redactions Process?

Department of Defense, Office of Management and Budget
January 6, 2020

In the Documents: Stephen Miller’s Emails with Top ICE Official

DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement
December 23, 2019

American Oversight’s Investigation into the Restoration of Voting Rights in Florida

Florida - Broward County, Florida - Collier County, Florida - Duval County, Florida - Gadsden County, Florida - Hardee Count, Florida - Hendry County, Florida - Hillsborough County, Florida - Leon County, Florida - Miami-Dade County, Florida - Monroe County, Florida - Palm Beach County, Florida - Taylor County, Florida - Washington County, Florida Attorney General, Florida Department of State, Florida House of Representatives, Florida Office of the Governor, Florida Senate
December 23, 2019

An Update on Our Investigation into Georgia’s Election System and Voter-Roll Purges

Georgia - Bartow County, Georgia - Carroll County, Georgia - Catoosa County, Georgia - Clayton County, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - Decatur County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Dougherty County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia - Hancock County, Georgia - Jefferson County, Georgia - Lowndes County, Georgia - Macon-Bibb County, Georgia - Paulding County, Georgia - Randolph County, Georgia - Rockdale County, Georgia Department of Driver Services, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State
December 23, 2019

Texas Officials’ Communications with ‘Voter Fraud’ Activists

Texas - Cameron County, Texas - Dallas County, Texas - Harris County, Texas - Hidalgo County, Texas - Starr County, Texas - Tarrant County, Texas - Travis County, Texas - Zavala County, Texas Attorney General, Texas House of Representatives, Texas Office of the Governor, Texas Secretary of State, Texas Senate
December 21, 2019

Defense Department Ukraine Documents Released to American Oversight

Department of Defense
December 20, 2019

News Roundup: Beyond Impeachment — The Investigations Continue

Congress, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOL - Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Government Accountability Office, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, Office of Management and Budget
December 18, 2019

Why Trump Has Met the Standard for Obstruction of Congress

Congress, Department of Defense, Department of State
December 17, 2019

American Oversight Sues for U.S. Embassy Communications About Trump Properties

Department of State
December 13, 2019

News Roundup: Stephen Miller’s Extremist Network

Congress, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DOI - Bureau of Land Management, DOI - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia - Carroll County, Office of Management and Budget, Texas Attorney General, Treasury - Office of Foreign Assets Control
December 12, 2019

American Oversight Sues for Treasury Communications About Russian Investment in Kentucky Plant

Department of the Treasury, Treasury - Office of Foreign Assets Control
December 11, 2019

Lawsuit over Administration’s Unlawful Seizure of Trump-Putin Meeting Notes Moves Forward

Department of State, National Archives and Records Administration
December 6, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment Report, Border Wall Contracts, and Pompeo’s Meeting with GOP Donors

Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State
December 3, 2019

House Committee Impeachment Report References State Department Documents Obtained by American Oversight

November 27, 2019

News Roundup: Thankful for FOIA

Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Kentucky Office of the Governor, USDA - Food Safety and Inspection Service
November 27, 2019

Behind the Scenes: How American Oversight Forced the Release of State Department Ukraine Records

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget
November 25, 2019

American Oversight Sues Justice Department for Ukraine-Related Communications

Department of Justice
November 22, 2019

State Department Releases Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of State
November 22, 2019

News Roundup: Fiona Hill’s Warnings, Nikki Haley’s Emails, and Matt Bevin’s Stay at Trump’s Hotel

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Kentucky Office of the Governor
November 21, 2019

Nikki Haley Sent Classified Emails on an Unclassified Email System

Department of State
November 20, 2019

Sondland’s Testimony Highlights State Department Obstruction

Department of Energy, Department of State
November 19, 2019

Former DOJ Civil Rights Official Acknowledges He Made Incorrect Statement in Sworn Declaration

Department of Justice
November 15, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment Inquiry Goes Public

Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Veterans Affairs, Florida House of Representatives, Georgia - Bartow County, Georgia - Carroll County, Georgia - Decatur County, Georgia - Lowndes County, Georgia - Paulding County, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Texas - Dallas County, Texas - Harris County, Texas - Travis County, White House - Council on Environmental Quality
November 14, 2019

How ‘Sharpiegate’ Turned a Simple Misunderstanding into a Media Frenzy — and Headache for NOAA Employees

Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce
November 13, 2019

American Oversight Sues DHS for Cuccinelli Records

Department of Homeland Security, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
November 8, 2019

News Roundup: Ukraine-Related Documents, Hurdles for Asylum-Seekers, and Chad Wolf’s Involvement in Family Separation

Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, DOJ - Office of Legal Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Office of the Governor, Office of Management and Budget
November 7, 2019

What We Learned from the Yovanovitch and McKinley Transcripts

Congress, Department of State
October 31, 2019

State Department Agrees to Produce Ukraine Records to American Oversight by November 22

Department of State
October 25, 2019

News Roundup: Court Chips Away at Trump Administration Obstruction

October 24, 2019

Research Tool: Ukraine-Trump Key Figures and Documents

Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of the Treasury
October 23, 2019

Federal Judge Says He Will Order State Department to Begin Turning Over Requested Ukraine Documents

Department of State
October 22, 2019

New Lawsuit Seeks Perry and Brouillette Ukraine Documents and Communications about Biden Investigation Effort

Department of Energy
October 18, 2019

News Roundup: Corruption, Plain and Simple

Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
October 18, 2019

Court Calls for Hearing on Emergency Motion for Ukraine Documents

Department of State
October 11, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment, Obstruction, and More Questions about Rick Perry

Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
October 9, 2019

Early Trump Administration — and McAleenan — Communications About Immigration Policy

Department of Homeland Security, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
October 4, 2019

News Roundup: The Public Needs Answers

Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State
October 4, 2019

Former Top Civil Rights Official John Gore Made Misleading Statements in Declaration to Federal Court

Department of Justice
October 4, 2019

Pompeo’s Obstructionism Won’t Work

Department of State
October 2, 2019

Pompeo’s Letter Is the Trump Administration’s Opening Salvo of Obstruction

Department of State
October 1, 2019

We’re Suing the State Department for Giuliani-Ukraine Documents

Department of State
September 27, 2019

News Roundup: From the Top Down

Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, DOI - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Florida - Collier County, Office of Management and Budget, White House - Council on Environmental Quality
September 25, 2019

Release of Trump–Zelensky Call Readout Raises Questions About Justice Department Involvement

Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, U.S. Agency for International Development
September 20, 2019

News Roundup: Trump, Giuliani, and Ukraine

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Federal Reserve, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS - National Institutes of Health, HHS - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Texas - Starr County, Texas Attorney General, Texas Secretary of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
September 18, 2019

In the Documents: Texas Elections Officials’ Close Ties to ‘Voter Fraud’ Activists

Texas - Starr County, Texas Attorney General, Texas Secretary of State
September 13, 2019

News Roundup: Photos of Detention Centers for Migrant Children; Stephen Miller’s Hand in Immigration Policy

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS Office of Inspector General, Small Business Administration
September 12, 2019

New Lawsuit Seeks State Department Records of Jared Kushner’s Middle East Trips

Department of State
September 8, 2019

Photos from Inside Detention Centers for Migrant Children

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS Office of Inspector General
August 30, 2019

News Roundup: Remain in Mexico’s Harmful Effects and Trump’s Dangerous Impatience

Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Interior, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOI - U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida House of Representatives, Florida Senate, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
July 19, 2019

News Roundup: Investigating the Fallout from Spring’s DHS Shakeup

Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Florida Office of the Governor, General Services Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority
June 27, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security Doesn’t Know Where Trump Got Those Immigration Numbers, Either

Department of Homeland Security, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
June 18, 2019

Lawsuit Seeks Records to Shed Light on Deaths of Detainees in DHS Custody

Department of Homeland Security, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
June 13, 2019

Documents Reveal New Information About 2017 CBP Media Efforts

DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
June 7, 2019

News Roundup: Investigating Outside Influence and Political Appointments at the State Department

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration
May 24, 2019

News Roundup: Congressional Hearing Shows and No-Shows

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida - Taylor County
May 3, 2019

News Roundup: Above the Law

Congress, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
May 3, 2019

New Evidence of Emoluments Violations Prompts American Oversight Lawsuit

Department of Justice, Department of State
April 30, 2019

American Oversight Sues HUD for Communications Related to Sale of Trump-Tied Housing Complex

Department of Housing and Urban Development
April 24, 2019

American Oversight and ACLU of Massachusetts Sue DHS for Border Security Plan

April 17, 2019

Why Congress — and the American People — Deserve to See Trump’s Tax Returns

Congress, Department of the Treasury, Treasury - Internal Revenue Service, White House
April 12, 2019

News Roundup: DeVos, Mnuchin, Barr Testify in Congress

Congress, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, DOI - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Environmental Protection Agency, White House - Council on Environmental Quality
March 25, 2019

The Corruption Continues: Mueller Has Finished His Work. American Oversight Has Not.

March 13, 2019

Two Years of American Oversight

March 12, 2019

Investigating the Trump Administration’s Efforts to Sell Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia

Commerce - International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
March 8, 2019

News Roundup: Lawsuits Against Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services

March 4, 2019

FBI Headquarters Investigation: Agencies Refusing to Search for Records of Trump Interference to Protect Hotel

February 15, 2019

News Roundup: Citizenship, the Census and the Constitution

Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice
February 5, 2019

Lawsuit: Why Did Government-Run Site Attached to Trump Hotel Stay Open During the Shutdown?

DOI - National Park Service, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget
February 1, 2019

News Roundup: More Troops at the Border Means More Questions for the Administration

Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security
January 18, 2019

News Roundup: Two Troubling Inspector General Reports

Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, General Services Administration
January 11, 2019

News Roundup: The Administration’s Misleading Claims About Terrorists at the Southern Border

Department of Homeland Security
January 9, 2019

Investigating the Acting Defense Secretary’s Ties to Boeing

Department of Defense
January 3, 2019

Government Site Attached to Trump Hotel Stays Open Despite Shutdown and We Want to Know Why

December 27, 2018

Countdown to Oversight in 2019

December 12, 2018

Audit the Wall: No Plans, Funding or Timeline — And No Wall

Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
December 5, 2018

American Oversight Sues Administration for Records of Family-Separation Policy

Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Executive Office for Immigration Review, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS Office of Inspector General
November 19, 2018

Ivanka Trump Email Investigation Sparked by American Oversight FOIAs

Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, Small Business Administration
November 8, 2018

American Oversight Sues State Department for Trump Organization, Kushner Companies Records

Department of State
October 23, 2018

New Lawsuit Seeks Details of White House, Trump Organization Involvement in FBI Headquarters Decision

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget
May 3, 2018

Court Rules in Favor of American Oversight in Trump Hotel Lawsuit

General Services Administration
February 9, 2018

New Lawsuit Seeks DHS Border Wall Emails with White House, Fox News, Border States

Department of Homeland Security, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
December 17, 2017

Trump Transition GSA Emails and Memorandum of Understanding

General Services Administration
December 11, 2017

State Department Emails Show How Embassy Websites Promoted Mar-a-Lago

Department of State
November 2, 2017

FOIA In Action: Helping Journalists Expose Questionable Behavior By Trump’s Appointees

Department of Education, Department of Labor, Small Business Administration
October 31, 2017

American Oversight Sues State Department for Records Showing Efforts to Compel Mexico to Pay for Border Wall

Department of State
October 24, 2017

Texts Show SBA Staff Tried to “Crop the Opulence” from Trump Hotel Event

Small Business Administration
October 17, 2017

5 Questions for Attorney General Sessions

Department of Justice
September 2, 2017

DOJ Confirms Trump Lied in “Wiretap” Tweets

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
August 4, 2017

Ethics 101: Twitter Ads Follow President Trump to Bedminster, NJ

August 1, 2017

American Oversight Obtains Attorney General Sessions SF-86 Signature Page

Department of Justice
August 1, 2017

Statement on Waiver of Environmental Regulations for Border Wall

July 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches “Defund Trump” Investigation

Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, White House - Council on Environmental Quality, White House - Office of Science and Technology Policy
July 21, 2017

American Oversight Calls for Resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
July 13, 2017

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

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
June 28, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Sues GSA for Trump International Hotel Lease Records

General Services Administration
June 16, 2017

Watchdog Group Files Lawsuit on Trump Border Wall

Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Management and Budget
May 24, 2017

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

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
May 16, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Comey-Trump Memos

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
May 12, 2017

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

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
May 10, 2017

Statement on the Firing of FBI Director Comey

DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
May 10, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Calls for IG Investigation of Sessions for Violating Recusal

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
May 3, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Calls for Investigation into Pattern of Promoting Trump Family Ventures on Government Websites

Department of State
April 25, 2017

American Oversight Files IG Complaint over State Department Promotion of Mar-A-Lago

Department of State
April 19, 2017

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

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, White House
March 29, 2017

Call for GSA Inspector General to Review Trump Hotel Lease Decision

General Services Administration
March 28, 2017

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

Department of the Interior
March 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches Investigation of President Trump’s Border Wall

Department of Homeland Security
March 22, 2017

Statement on Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes’ Actions

March 17, 2017

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

Office of Government Ethics, White House