New Lawsuit for Records Related to Pompeo’s Military Housing Arrangements

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

On Thursday, American Oversight filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for records related to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s housing arrangements, another potentially controversial use of taxpayer money by the country’s top diplomat.

President Donald Trump’s firing in May of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick — at the request of Pompeo — put a glaring light on a number of allegations of misconduct against the secretary, which Linick was reportedly investigating. In addition to Pompeo’s involvement in the 2019 sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, Linick was also looking into reports that Pompeo was misusing agency resources by routinely having a State Department staffer run personal errands, such as walking the family dog. 

Since the firing, new questions have arisen about Pompeo’s potentially unusual housing arrangements. Details about those arrangements have remained murky. In the summer of 2018, Pompeo reportedly requested to move his personal residence to the Potomac Hill campus in Washington, D.C., which sits across from the State Department. The campus is controlled by the Navy and stewarded by the General Services Administration and the State Department.

After months of negotiation, Pompeo reportedly received approval to rent one of the homes on a base in the Washington area. The New York Times reported at the time that the State Department declined to disclose which base, but said that Pompeo would “personally pay fair market value for the residence” and that the “arrangement will present taxpayers a significant cost savings over options that previous secretaries of state utilized.” 

More recent reports, though, suggest that Pompeo has resided at the Army’s Fort Myer in Virginia. The potential use of government resources for personal benefit is troubling in light of Linick’s firing as well as the multiple other scandals dogging the secretary. American Oversight has filed a number of lawsuits related to Pompeo’s potential misconduct, including lawsuits for records about Linick’s firing, Pompeo’s outside political influences, and the involvement of his wife at the State Department.

Thursday’s lawsuit — filed against the State Department, the GSA, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Navy — seeks records reflecting any payments made to military components by Pompeo, his family, or the State Department, for military housing in the D.C. area, as well as any related communications. You can view the complaint here.