DOJ Records of John Gore’s Emails

Email correspondence from February 2017 to October 2019 between John Gore, former principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and Republican Party official Chris Cleveland, and between Gore and Tom Wheeler, who led the Civil Rights Division at the time. 

Records obtained by Protect Democracy and the Brennan Center show that in correspondence spanning May through September 2017, Gore used a non-governmental account to email Cleveland. 

In July 2019, American Oversight obtained a declaration signed by Gore in response to a lawsuit brought by Protect Democracy and the Brennan Center. In that declaration, apparently to avoid a search of his personal email, Gore claimed his correspondence with Wheeler did not involve official agency business.

These records, obtained by American Oversight earlier in 2019, indicate otherwise. In November 2019, Gore acknowledged he made incorrect statements in his initial declaration. 

You can read more about these documents here, and about Gore’s corrections to his personal email declaration here.  

In these records: 

March 24, 2017: Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party Chris Cleveland emailed a redacted Gmail address about “a potentially serious problem with the 2016 election returns in Chicago.” Cleveland asked for help in locating someone in the Department of Justice with the “power to look into the problem.” The request was forwarded to Tom Wheeler, then the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

March 25, 2017: Wheeler copied John Gore on his reply email. Gore responded, “This may actually be an issue for Public Integrity (Criminal Division), but we’ll chase it down and figure it out.” 

March 28, 2017: A few days later, Gore wrote to Wheeler that he had been in contact with Cleveland about his voting concerns in Chicago.