New Lawsuit Seeks Records of Mike Pompeo’s Outside Political Influences

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reported to be considering a 2020 run for Senate in Kansas. Other reports speculate that Pompeo may also be contemplating running for Kansas governor.

In its investigation of whether Pompeo has been subject to inappropriate political influences during his tenure in the Trump administration, American Oversight today filed a lawsuit seeking records of the secretary’s communications with outside entities and specific lawmakers, including from his time as CIA director.

In November 2018, we filed multiple Freedom of Information Act requests with the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department for Pompeo’s emails with non-government entities, for any emails he sent to key staffers using a private account, and for all communications between him or his office and the offices of Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton. Both agencies have failed to provide final responses to those requests. Today’s lawsuit seeks records that would reveal any outside influence not only over his personal political ambitions, but also over his official actions.

“America’s national security should be the secretary of state’s number one priority,” said Austin Evers, American Oversight’s executive director. “Every story about Mike Pompeo laying the groundwork for a Senate campaign in Kansas is a red flag that the country’s vital interests could be subordinated to selfish political ends. If Pompeo is blurring the line between diplomacy and electioneering, the public has a right to know.”

American Oversight expanded its investigation into personal email usage in the Trump administration in response to findings that in 2017 Ivanka Trump made extensive use of a personal email account for official business — a discovery prompted by an earlier American Oversight lawsuit. Last week, we sued the Department of Education for emails Secretary Betsy DeVos sent using a personal email account.

The complaint is available below: