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:

Related Blog Posts

May 8, 2020

News Roundup: Who Will Watch the Inspectors General?

Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Civil Division, Criminal Division, 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 Air Force, Department of the Army, Department of the Treasury, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Election Commission, Georgia Attorney General, Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Georgia Secretary of State, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Troup County - Georgia, U.S. Department of the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard
News
April 3, 2020

News Roundup: Whose Stockpile, and Which States?

Broward County - Florida, Bureau of Industry and Security, California Office of the Governor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Central Intelligence Agency, 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, Duval County - Florida, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Office of the Governor, Food and Drug Administration, Gadsden County - Florida, Hendry County - Florida, Jackson County - Florida, King County - Washington, Leon County - Florida, Miami-Dade County - Florida, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, New York Office of the Governor, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Ohio Office of the Governor, Oklahoma Department of Health, Oklahoma Office of the Governor, Osceola County - Florida, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Washington Office of the Governor
News
August 9, 2019

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

Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
News