In the nearly one month since the Biden administration took over the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, new details of the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis have continued to surface, including the fact that the former president’s own case of Covid-19 was more severe than reported at the time. And last week, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis renewed its investigation into political interference in the pandemic response following the release of emails from a former Trump political appointee criticized for meddling at science agencies.
Meanwhile, we continue to file records requests with federal agencies and state governments as part of our ongoing effort to shed light on the pandemic response across the country. Here’s what we requested this week:
Space Command Headquarters Location
Following a competitive lobbying campaign among several cities, then-Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett announced on Jan. 13 that Huntsville, Ala., had been chosen as the location for U.S. Space Command headquarters. Reports soon surfaced that Trump may have interfered in the bidding process and that Huntsville was picked to gain the support of Alabama lawmakers during his most recent impeachment trial. We submitted a FOIA request to the Air Force for related communications.
State Department Cables on Capitol Attack and Election
The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol shocked world leaders and foreign diplomats, with some expressing grave concern over the event. To learn more about the international community’s response to the Jan. 6 attack and to Trump’s refusal to concede the election, we sent a FOIA request to the State Department for all cables about the attack and Trump’s subsequent impeachment.
Former USAGM Official’s Communications
Following her departure as chief of staff of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Emily Newman was listed as an attorney on a Michigan lawsuit that sought to overturn the state’s presidential election results. Recent reporting also indicates that Newman was present at a contentious Dec. 18 White House meeting in which officials discussed extreme measures for continuing Trump’s attempts to challenge the election. We sent a FOIA request to USAGM for Newman’s communications about the election or with individuals associated with the former president’s anti-democratic efforts.
Part of Investigation: