Investigations Update: State and Local Officials Involved in Capitol Attack

Government Officials’ Involvement in Capitol Mob Attack
In the weeks following the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol building, news continued to trickle out about several state and local government officials who participated in that day’s “Stop the Steal” rally in support of former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. Over the past week, we’ve filed the following records requests to learn more:

  • Pennsylvania: State Sen. Doug Mastriano’s campaign reportedly spent thousands of dollars on buses to transport Trump supporters to the rally in Washington, D.C. We sent a records request to the Pennsylvania Senate for Mastriano’s related expense records. 
  • California: Jessica Martinez, a member of the Whittier City Council, and Leandra Blades, a member of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified Board of Education in Orange County, are both facing calls to resign after attending the demonstrations in DC. We’re seeking Martinez’s and Blades’s communications about Jan. 6, and filed records requests to the city of Whittier and to Orange County for related records. 
  • Ohio: Ohio Board of Education member Kirsten Hill promoted a bus trip to the rally through a website for the TEA Party of Lorain County, a group she runs. We sent a records request to the Ohio Department of Education for Hill’s email communications. 
  • Michigan: Michigan lawmakers recently called for the expulsion or censure of State Rep. Matt Maddock after footage circulated online of Maddock addressing a crowd of Trump supporters at the Capitol. We filed a request for Maddock’s related travel expenses. 
  • Arizona: State Rep. Mark Finchem, who participated in the demonstrations and reportedly initially intended to deliver a speech, has since spread conspiracy theories about antifascist infiltrators having been responsible for the violence. We asked the Arizona House of Representatives for Finchem’s email communications about the rally. 

Maryland National Guard Deployment Communications
Early reporting on the slow law enforcement response to the Capitol riot indicated that the Defense Department had initially denied a request from the city of Washington, DC, to deploy the National Guard, though Pentagon officials say they never rejected the request. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he was prepared to deploy the Maryland National Guard as soon as he learned about the invasion, but was forced to wait until he finally received permission from the Defense Department. We filed a records request to Hogan’s office for email communications with Pentagon officials about National Guard deployment on Jan. 6. 

Ohio Information Officer Told to Resign After Criticizing Police Response to Capitol Riot
Marc Gofstein, a public information officer working at the Franklin County sheriff’s office in Ohio, was told to resign after criticizing on his personal Facebook page the police response to the Jan. 6 riot. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Sheriff Dallas Baldwin circulated a statement to employees that said Gofstein’s “inflammatory” post undermined his ability to do his work. We sent a records request to the Franklin County sheriff’s office for the sheriff’s and chief deputy’s email communications about the Capitol riot. 

Robocalls Promoting Jan. 6 Rally Sent by Attorney General Group
Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a group affiliated with the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), sent out robocalls encouraging Trump supporters to attend the D.C. rally that preceded the attack and to “fight” in the name of the stolen-election lie. Several attorneys general — including Florida’s Ashley Moody, who previously was on RLDF’s board of directors — are now distancing themselves from the calls. We filed records requests to the attorney general offices in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Texas for any communications with representatives of RAGA or RLDF. 

Trump Political Appointees ‘Burrowing In’
As President Joe Biden continues his first full week in office, significant attention has remained on “burrowing,” the practice of political appointees from the previous administration moving to a federal career position, potentially to maintain influence over policy. Recent reporting suggests that at least 26 Trump appointees have burrowed into career positions over the past year, though the exact number is unknown. We’ve been closely following the issue, and last week filed FOIA requests with 21 federal agencies for records regarding political appointees moving to career status positions, including any related ethics documents. 

Related Blog Posts

February 25, 2021

News Roundup: Capitol Attack Intelligence Failures and the National Voter-Suppression Frenzy

February 23, 2021

Investigations Update: Texas Energy Crisis, Covid-19 in Poultry Plants, and New Legislation in Missouri

Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, DOD - Department of the Army, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, Missouri House of Representatives, Missouri Senate, Texas, Texas Office of the Governor
February 23, 2021

Questions About Jan. 6 Capitol Attack Remain as Senate Investigates

Department of Homeland Security
February 5, 2021

News Roundup: New Voting-Restriction Bills and the Upcoming Round of Redistricting

Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Georgia Department of Community Health, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Iowa Department of Public Health
February 2, 2021

Investigations Update: The Efforts by Trump — and Top Officials — to Overturn the Election

Department of Justice, Department of State, DOJ - Civil Division, DOJ - Civil Rights Division, Maryland Department of Legislative Services, Missouri House of Representatives, Oklahoma Attorney General, Texas, Texas Attorney General, West Virginia Attorney General
January 26, 2021

Watchdogs to Corporate CEOs: Don’t Let Complicit Trump Officials Use Your Company to Launder Reputations

January 19, 2021

Investigations Update: West Virginia Lawmaker’s Involvement in Capitol Attack and Trump’s Attempts to Overturn Georgia Election Results

Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - Office of Intelligence and Analysis, District of Columbia, District of Columbia Mayor's Office, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, DOD - National Guard Bureau, DOD - National Security Agency, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, DOI - National Park Service, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Florida Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State, Office of Personnel Management, VA - Veterans Health Administration, White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
January 14, 2021

News Roundup: Heightened Security, Unanswered Questions, and a Twice-Impeached President

January 7, 2021

News Roundup: A Dark Day

Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of State, White House
January 7, 2021

American Oversight Statement on Trump-Incited Mob Attack on Capitol

December 24, 2020

Documents Show Further Details of Stephen Miller’s Efforts to Push Anti-Immigrant Policies

Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
December 17, 2020

News Roundup: The Long Month Ahead

Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of State, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration
December 16, 2020

American Oversight Obtains Attorney General Barr Calendars and Phone Logs from 2019 and 2020

Department of Justice
December 16, 2020

The U.S. Postal Service Finally Released Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Calendars — Almost Completely Redacted

United States Postal Service
December 15, 2020

Investigations Update: Political Interference in Coronavirus Data, Texas Election Lawsuit, and State Officials’ Voter-Fraud Allegations

Arizona House of Representatives, Department of Health and Human Service, Florida Attorney General, Florida Department of Health, Florida Office of the Governor, Georgia, Georgia - Baldwin County, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Floyd County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia - Spalding County, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas, Texas Attorney General, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Elections Commission
December 14, 2020

Records Shed Light on Justice Department’s Handling of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn Cases

Department of Justice, DOJ - Office of Information Policy
December 3, 2020

News Roundup: As Covid-19 Rages, Trump Offers Rants and Reprieves

Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, White House
December 1, 2020

Investigations Update: ‘Burrowing In,’ Medicaid Block Grants, and Pennsylvania County Election Certifications

Commerce - Census Bureau, Commerce - National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DOD - National Security Agency, DOJ - Executive Office for Immigration Review, Office of Personnel Management, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Oklahoma Office of the Governor, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania - Luzerne County
November 24, 2020

Investigations Update: Krebs’ Firing, Federal Record Preservation Laws, and Trump’s Contacts with Michigan Officials

Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Service, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, Small Business Administration, Texas, Texas Military Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, VA - Veterans Health Administration, White House - Office of Management and Budget
July 13, 2020

Administration’s Lifting of Ban on Silencer Sales Shines Light on Trump Adviser Who Used to Work for Gun Lobby

White House - Office of Management and Budget
May 8, 2020

News Roundup: Who Will Watch the Inspectors General?

Department of Defense, Department of Education, 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 - United States Coast Guard, DOD - Department of the Air Force, DOD - Department of the Army, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, DOD - U.S. Marine Corps, DOJ - Civil Division, DOJ - Criminal Division, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Election Commission, Georgia - Troup County, Georgia Attorney General, Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Treasury - Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Agency for International Development, White House - Office of Management and Budget
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 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, White House - Office of Management and Budget
August 9, 2019

News Roundup: Investigating the Administration’s Response to Domestic Terrorism

Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Housing Finance Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
August 8, 2019

New Lawsuit in Investigation of Trump Administration’s Cuts to Funding for Combating Domestic Terrorism

Department of Homeland Security
Show all related posts