Here’s a look at the investigations our team has been pursuing through public records requests in the last week:
Keeping Voting Rights in Focus in Georgia. All eyes are on Georgia as the state approaches dual run-off Senate elections that will determine who controls the upper chamber of Congress. And our eyes are on exposing efforts that may suppress the vote in the state. We recently filed the following requests in Georgia for records concerning the political influence of voting-restriction groups and activists ahead of the Jan. 5 elections:
Trump Loyalists at the Pentagon
On Nov. 9, 2020, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he had fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, exacerbating concerns that the White House has been replacing top officials in powerful positions with people perceived as loyal to Trump and willing to help bend the Pentagon to his will. Earlier this month, the White House fired nine members of the Defense Business Board, replacing them with well-known Trump allies such as former Trump campaign officials Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. We filed FOIA requests with the Defense Department for records regarding Esper’s departure from the agency, including top officials’ related memos and communications.
White House Pressure on FDA
According to the Washington Post, on Dec. 11, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn that he would have to resign if the FDA failed to grant emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the day. (Both Meadows and Hahn have disputed that report.) The FDA had reportedly already been planning to grant authorization on Dec. 12; it ended up granting it on Dec. 11. We filed FOIA requests with the FDA for related communications between Hahn and Meadows.
Information Provided by Giuliani to U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh
On Tuesday, we sued the Department of Justice for orders, directives, and communications regarding the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania’s process for receiving and evaluating information from Rudy Giuliani, including any information concerning President-elect Joe Biden. We also filed more records requests with the DOJ for related records.
Part of Investigation: