On Wednesday, American Oversight sued the Trump administration after multiple agencies failed to release documents detailing White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner’s role in the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, Kushner recruited a bevy of private-sector volunteers with little to no relevant experience to assist in the administration’s efforts to procure medical and protective equipment that has been in short supply. The volunteers reportedly include analysts from investment firms with potential financial interests in the health-care industry. Additionally, the CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) — Adam Boehler, Kushner’s former college roommate — has also been central in managing the response by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies to critical supply shortages across the county.
American Oversight filed a number of Freedom of Information Act requests with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the DFC for all nondisclosure agreements signed by the volunteers, as well as any related emails — including between Boehler and Kushner, or that Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, who was heading the supply chain task force, sent to White House officials or representatives of the relevant private firms.
“Jared Kushner’s choice to put his friends and personal network in charge of managing the federal pandemic response is a recipe for corruption and failure,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “Given that states are still struggling to acquire necessary equipment, and the death toll continues to rise, these concerns have become a matter of life and death.
“The bottom line is that Jared Kushner was tasked with managing the supply chain of lifesaving equipment and Americans paid the price. The public deserves to know why.”
American Oversight has filed more than 500 public records requests with federal and state government agencies to investigate the response to the coronavirus pandemic, including requests in Georgia and Florida related to outbreaks in local prisons and jails.
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