New Video: Parallel Investigations Initiative

Despite an endless series of scandals — including pricey flights at taxpayer expense, cabinet secretaries involving family members in government business, and widespread conflicts of interest — Congress has largely failed to hold the Trump administration accountable.

That could all change after the midterm elections, and American Oversight’s Parallel Investigations Initiative is the groundwork for a potential surge in Congressional oversight activity.

Leading up to midterms, we’ve been submitting FOIA requests that mirror document requests made by the chairs and ranking members of key congressional committees. If Congress changes hands (or starts conducting aggressive oversight sooner), we expect that some of the document requests sent in 2018 could be re-issued as subpoenas in 2019 — and if that happens, we’ll be prepared to go to court to file FOIA lawsuits seeking the same documents.

Although there are barriers to getting documents through both FOIA requests and congressional letters, if both FOIA litigants and congressional committee chairs ask for the same records, we have more leverage to force agencies to be transparent and release documents faster.

Read more about the Parallel Investigations Initiative on our blog and see the FOIAs we’ve submitted to mirror congressional document requests.