Parallel Investigations Initiative: Amplifying Congressional Oversight

American Oversight is filing FOIAs that mirror the document requests sent by the chairs and ranking members of key congressional committees. If there is a surge in congressional oversight activity in 2019, or even sooner, American Oversight will be prepared to file parallel FOIA lawsuits seeking the same information as congressional investigators – making it very difficult for the Trump administration to duck accountability.

American Oversight’s Parallel Investigations Initiative is a long-term effort to set up potential FOIA litigation on issues that are also likely to become the targets of congressional investigations.

Federal agencies are adept at handling one kind of investigation at a time; they know how to deflect congressional inquiries or delay responses to FOIA requests. But when independent FOIA litigation is paired with aggressive congressional investigation, it creates a feedback loop of oversight that is much harder for agencies to resist.

Read more about American Oversight’s Parallel Investigations Initiative here.

The FOIA requests below have been crafted to mirror oversight letters sent by both the chairs and ranking members of committees in the House and Senate. Federal agencies generally feel that they can ignore document requests sent by anyone other than a committee chair – but if control of Congress changes hands in the upcoming midterm elections, today’s ranking members could become the new committee chairs. If that happens, they will have the ability compel the Trump administration to answer their questions, and American Oversight will be ready to file FOIA lawsuits seeking the same documents.

And while the current Congress has largely failed to hold the Trump administration accountable, several committees have opened limited investigations into former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. American Oversight has also sent FOIAs paralleling oversight letters signed by committee chairs seeking information about the Census Bureau’s information technology systems, the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements at the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico.

Related Documents

October 1, 2018

FOIA to CFBP Seeking a Report on Dubious Account Fees on Student Lending

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
FOIA Request
October 1, 2018

FOIA to CFPB Regarding Mulvaney’s Conflicts of Interest and Student Lending

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
FOIA Request
September 7, 2018

FOIA to CFBP Regarding Navient Influence on the Agency

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
FOIA Request
September 7, 2018

FOIA to DOI Regarding Uranium Mining and Outside Influence

Department of the Interior
FOIA Request
September 7, 2018

FOIA to OSTP Regarding Uranium Mining and Outside Influence

Office of Science and Technology Policy
FOIA Request
September 4, 2018

FOIA to USDA Seeking Records Related to Rep. Watson Coleman’s Letter to Rebeckah Adcock

Department of Agriculture
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to HHS Seeking Communications Between HHS and State Government Officials Regarding Title X Family Planning Policies

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to HHS Seeking Communications Between HHS and Outside Entities Regarding Title X Family Planning Policies

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Records Produced to Rep. Frank Pallone in Response to His Letter

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Communications Between EPA Employees and the White House Seeking Terms Relating to Chemicals

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Nancy Beck’s Ethics Waivers or Authorizations

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Communications with Outside Chemical Groups Regarding a Suppressed Report

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to DHS/U.S. Secret Service Seeking Records of Spending at Trump Properties

Department of Homeland Security, United States Secret Service
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to DHS/U.S. Secret Service Regarding Trump’s Visit to the Trump Turnberry Resort and Overtime Spending Costs

United States Secret Service
FOIA Request
August 31, 2018

FOIA to DHS/U.S. Secret Service Regarding Trump’s Visit and Spending at the Trump Turnberry Resort

United States Secret Service
FOIA Request
August 29, 2018

FOIA to HHS Seeking Communications Regarding States’ Decisions to Deny Planned Parenthood Coverage

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
August 29, 2018

FOIA to HHS/CMS Seeking Communications Regarding Medicaid for Planned Parenthood Services

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
August 29, 2018

FOIA to HHS/CMS Regarding a January Letter Rescinding Medicaid Guidelines Following Planned Parenthood Videos

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
August 29, 2018

FOIA to HHS/CMS Seeking Communications with Outside Entities Regarding Medicaid for Planned Parenthood Services

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
August 29, 2018

FOIA to HHS/CMS Seeking Communications with Alliance Defending Freedom

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
August 24, 2018

FOIA to FDA Seeking Communications with Giuliani Regarding Opioids

Food and Drug Administration
FOIA Request
August 24, 2018

FOIA to DEA Seeking Communications With Giuliani Regarding Opioids

Drug Enforcement Administration
FOIA Request
August 24, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Regarding For Communications with Giuliani Regarding Opioids

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
August 24, 2018

FOIA to USDA Seeking Rebeckah Adcock’s Communications to External Entities

Department of Agriculture
FOIA Request
August 24, 2018

FOIA to USDA Seeking Rebeckah Adcock’s Communications with the Regulatory Reform Task Force

Department of Agriculture
FOIA Request
August 24, 2018

FOIA to USDA Seeking Rebeckah Adcock’s Ethics Guidance

Department of Agriculture
FOIA Request
August 24, 2018

FOIA to USDA Seeking Rebeckah Adcock’s Communications with Her Former Employer

Department of Agriculture
FOIA Request
August 21, 2018

FOIA to State Regarding the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

Department of State
FOIA Request
August 21, 2018

FOIA to OMB Regarding Sens. Warren and Brown’s Letter Regarding Kathy Kraninger

Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
August 21, 2018

FOIA to OMB Seeking OMB’s Analysis Concerning DOJ’s Family Separation Policy

Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
August 21, 2018

FOIA to OMB Seeking Kathy Kraninger’s White House Communications Regarding DOJ’s Family Separation Policy

Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
August 21, 2018

FOIA to OMB Seeking Kathy Kraninger’s Communications With DOJ, DHS, or HHS Regarding DOJ’s Family Separation Policy

Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
August 3, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Communications with Office of the Administrator or the Office of Air and Radiation

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
August 3, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Communications with CVR Energy and Other Outside Entities

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
August 3, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Communications with Office of the Administrator or the Office of Air and Radiation

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
June 12, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Communications Between Senior Officials and FOIA Office Contact

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
June 12, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Communications Regarding EPA’s Processing of American Oversight FOIAs

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
June 12, 2018

FOIA to EPA Regarding Rep. Cummings’ Letter About FOIA Processing

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
June 12, 2018

FOIA to EPA Seeking Communications Regarding FOIA Processing

Environmental Protection Agency
FOIA Request
May 1, 2018

FOIA to DHS Regarding Nondisclosure Agreements and Restrictions on Appointees

Department of Homeland Security
FOIA Request
May 1, 2018

FOIA to DHS Seeking Restrictions on Communications with Congress

Department of Homeland Security
FOIA Request
May 1, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Regarding Nondisclosure Agreements and Restrictions on Appointees

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
May 1, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Seeking Restrictions on Communications with Congress and other Nondisclosure Agreements

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
April 20, 2018

FOIA Seeking Communications Regarding Lance Leggitt’s Memorandum

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
April 20, 2018

FOIA Seeking Any Agreements Given to HHS Employees

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
April 20, 2018

FOIA to HHS Regarding Limitations on Employees Communicating with Congress

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
April 19, 2018

FOIA to DHS/FEMA Regarding Puerto Rico Preparedness

Federal Emergency Management Agency
FOIA Request
April 19, 2018

FOIA to FEMA Regarding Puerto Rico Seeking Communications with Food Retailers

Federal Emergency Management Agency
FOIA Request
April 19, 2018

FOIA to FEMA Regarding Bids for Contract Following Hurricanes Maria and Irma

Federal Emergency Management Agency
FOIA Request
April 19, 2018

FOIA to FEMA Regarding a Particular Contract Following Hurricanes Maria and Irma

Federal Emergency Management Agency
FOIA Request
March 14, 2018

FOIA to Commerce Regarding 2020 Census

Department of Commerce
FOIA Request