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

Today, American Oversight sued the Department of Homeland Security for the calendars and emails of Trump appointee Katharine Gorka to learn whether her ties to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim groups have influenced federal policy.

Gorka, who is currently press secretary at Customs and Border Protection, previously served as a policy adviser at DHS. In that role, Gorka reportedly advised the department to cut funding for the Countering Violent Extremism program, including grants for a group combating neo-Nazism and for a Muslim-American group working on violence prevention.

Gorka and her husband, former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka, have significant ties to anti-immigration groups like the Council on Global Security, the Threat Knowledge Group, and the Westminster Institute. Given her well-known anti-Muslim and conspiracy-driven stances, which she shared as a regular contributor on the far-right news site Breitbart, her 2017 appointment as a policy adviser caused concern among ethics groups.

American Oversight filed multiple Freedom of Information Act requests at the beginning of this year, seeking Gorka’s calendars and her communications with outside groups about the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program.

“If the leaders overseeing our anti-extremism programs are pushing a racist agenda, we’re in deep trouble,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “President Trump’s tweets may grab all the attention, but his appointees’ day-to-day work can have an even broader and more dire impact.”

American Oversight has been investigating the Trump administration’s response to the rise in domestic terrorism and violent extremism, including the cuts to CVE program grant funding and the White House’s involvement. These FOIAs, as well as others related to the CVE program, are available here.

The complaint filed today can be found here:

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