News Roundup: Rising Coronavirus Fears and Sinking Public Trust

The uncertainty and fear surrounding the coronavirus have laid bare the deadly consequences of President Donald Trump’s preferred method of leadership, summed up as a demand for obsequious loyalty and a refusal to take responsibility for mistakes. It’s been more than a month since the first confirmed case in the United States, but the administration’s response has only revealed inefficiency and intensified concerns.

A government without the trust of its people cannot safely guide the public through the outbreak of a rapidly spreading infectious disease. And the president’s series of false statements, the scarcity of testing, and the administration’s warping of its response into a public-relations operation are quickly eroding that trust. This week, American Oversight opened its investigation of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, filing dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests to shed light on how the government has been preparing for the potentially serious crisis. 

Trump had canceled a Friday trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, but abruptly rescheduled the trip — a change that according to Politico not even Vice President Mike Pence, who is in charge of the administration’s coronavirus response, was initially aware of. (What was apparently never off the table was Trump’s planned three-day weekend trip to his Mar-a-Lago resort.) Trump told reporters that the about-face was because of a suspected case at CDC that turned out to be negative, which was not the reason the White House had earlier given for the cancellation.

This came after a week of the president making misleading or false statements about the severity of the disease, Covid-19. He compared it to the common flu, contested the World Health Organization’s mortality rate estimate, and said that people feeling sick could still go to work, contrary to the advice of health experts to stay at home. He attended a campaign rally and a Fox News town hall, bragging about the administration’s “highest poll numbers of anybody.”

Meanwhile, the administration appears eager to paint the same rosy picture as the president. On Friday, Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow insisted that the virus was largely “contained” despite the increasing evidence of community spread. Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned military commanders last week not to make any decisions related to the coronavirus that would run contrary to Trump’s messaging. Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told the Washington Post that Pence’s office had been dictating how the agency should be communicating with the public, and last week, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney sent a government-wide email saying that all coronavirus-related communications had to go through Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller. Last weekend, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was told to cancel five talk show appearances. 

Despite the attempted stranglehold on messaging, troubling news continues to trickle out. An analysis by the Atlantic found that as of Friday morning fewer than 2,000 people had been tested in the U.S. for the coronavirus, and that White House promises of increased testing capacity have fallen far short: “The figures we gathered suggest that the American response to the coronavirus … has been shockingly sluggish, especially compared with that of other developed countries.” The lack of data available on the nation’s testing capacity — which had already been severely delayed — hinders the ability of officials to adequately respond to the disease. Health-care workers are scrambling and nurses aren’t receiving proper resources. Meanwhile, a number of people have criticized a questionable lack of screening of travelers entering the U.S. after visiting high-risk countries, even as the president reportedly toyed with the idea of closing the southern border, likely for his own political reasons.

American Oversight filed FOIA requests for information reflecting the number of individuals who have been tested, as well as for any directives, guidance, or communications related to testing. And earlier this week, we filed requests for records pertaining to public communications about coronavirus. More than three years have given us ample indications of the danger of Trump’s autocratic tendencies, and of the importance of keeping the spotlight on our government. Read on:

‘Final Decision Rests with POTUS’: That’s what a senior career Pentagon official said regarding the military aid to Ukraine, which Trump withheld last summer in an effort to coerce the country to announce an investigation into Joe Biden. That email — which also said that former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretaries Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo supported releasing the aid — was released to us in a 238-page set of Defense Department records that directly contradict the White House budget office’s stated rationale for having held up the aid. The evidence of Trump’s corruption grows bigger every week.

Lebanon Foreign Aid Freeze: Last summer, the Trump administration froze more than $200 million in congressionally approved military and economic aid to Lebanon with little explanation as to why. The New York Times later reported that the hold was requested by the White House, despite support from both the State Department and Pentagon officials for releasing the aid. (Sound familiar?) In testimony from the impeachment inquiry, senior officials speculated about whether “this is a new normal on assistance.” We filed FOIA requests to multiple agencies for records to shed light on the decision to withhold aid to Lebanon, including interagency meeting records and the communications of key officials at the State Department, the Office of Management and Budget, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Trump Properties Spending: Speaking of mounting evidence of corruption — this week, the Washington Post reported that the president’s company charged taxpayers $157,000 more than was previously known, having billed the Secret Service for rooms at higher rates than the company claimed. The receipts, obtained by Public Citizen, bring the total of Secret Service spending at Trump properties to more than $628,000. 

Braithwaite and Cambridge Analytica: In January, CBS News reported that Kenneth Braithwaite, ambassador to Norway and nominee for secretary of the Navy, worked with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica under a one-year contract that began in November 2016 — a relationship he failed to disclose on his ethics forms, which were obtained by American Oversight. Then last month, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington noticed discrepancies in Braithwaite’s financial reports on payments from his former employer, the health-care company Vizient Inc. We filed requests for Braithwaite’s communications with Cambridge Analytica and Vizient Inc.

Undermining the Affordable Care Act: We’ve been investigating administration efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, and this week published a 2017 script from an apparently unreleased HHS video criticizing the health-care law. We also sent new requests to the Justice Department and HHS for records reflecting communications with the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon, a prominent ACA opponent, as well as for records about HHS’s expenditures on advertising for recent enrollment periods.

Pompeo’s Contacts with Sebastian Gorka: During Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 2019 visit to Italy, his office permitted Sebastian Gorka — the far-right host of the radio show America First with Sebastian Gorka and former senior adviser to the president — to join as a member of the press pool. We’re asking for Pompeo’s ethics documents and for his communications with Gorka.

Investigations into War Crimes in Afghanistan: On Thursday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) authorized an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan — including those potentially committed by American forces. The court’s previous ruling to reject the inquiry came after public opposition from the Trump administration, which included threatening the ICC with sanctions and revoking the U.S. visa of Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor who proposed the investigation. Although the U.S. did not send official representatives to a December hearing on the request for the inquiry, the president’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow was there on behalf of the conservative American Center for Law and Justice. We filed FOIA requests to the State Department for any communications with or about Sekulow.

BLM Relocation Plan: Last November, more than 300 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees received a letter informing them they had 30 days to decide whether to move with the agency to Colorado, and 90 days to relocate if they decided to do so. Those who refused would lose their jobs. In December, it was reported that few employees had decided to make the move across the county. We filed FOIA requests to learn more about the relocation plan and its impact on staffing at the agency, including financial justifications for the move, any analysis or memos concerning the plan, and records reflecting how many employees were asked to relocate and how many chose to do so.

State Accountability Project: Super Tuesday is behind us, the 2020 election draws nearer, and we continue to investigate voting infrastructure and protections across the country with our State Accountability Project. This week, we asked Georgia’s secretary of state for records concerning increased accessibility measures for voters with disabilities and senior citizens. We also filed records requests to two counties in Georgia for information about the voting process for detainees held at two different detention centers. In Texas, we asked multiple counties and the secretary of state for documents or communications on the performance of the ES&S iVotronic voting machine — an older, paperless voting machine model that has reportedly changed voters’ ballots in previous elections.

Georgia Driver’s Licenses: In 2019, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) began an inquiry into discrimination against Puerto Rican driver’s license applicants following one man’s federal lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) for seizing his documentation and falsely claiming he provided fraudulent identification. Last month, DDS agreed to lessen restrictions for license applicants who come from Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories so they have the same requirements as other U.S. citizens. We filed records requests for the GBI’s final investigation report and for records about the policy change. 

Halkbank: In October 2019, the Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank was charged by a U.S. federal court for a sanction-evasion scheme. In the lead-up to the charges, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly lobbied Trump aggressively in an effort to avoid any prosecution. According to news reports, Trump sent Attorney General William Barr to block the indictment and assist Erdogan’s efforts. Last month, we started investigating the Trump administration’s interference in the federal prosecution against Halkbank, and now we’re asking the Department of Justice for communications of senior officials that reference the incident, including communications with the White House.

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February 14, 2020

News Roundup: Trump Has Learned His ‘Lesson’

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Central Intelligence Agency, Cobb County - Georgia, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, DeKalb County - Georgia, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Federal Reserve, Florida House of Representatives, Florida Senate, Fulton County - Georgia, Georgia Secretary of State, Gwinnett County - Georgia, Kentucky Office of the Governor, Office of Information Policy, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Wisconsin Senate, Wisconsin State Assembly
News
February 14, 2020

New Lawsuit Seeks Records of Complaints About Mike Pompeo’s Conduct

Central Intelligence Agency, Department of State
Investigation Update
News
February 11, 2020

The Facts Are Still Coming Out

Department of Defense, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
News
February 11, 2020

The Ukraine Investigation’s Unanswered Questions

Congress, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of State
Investigation Update
February 10, 2020

Ukraine Investigation Update: Volker Text Messages

Department of State
Investigation Update
February 7, 2020

News Roundup: Acquittal Isn’t the End

Cobb County - Georgia, DeKalb County - Georgia, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of State, Florida Department of State, Fulton County - Georgia, Georgia Secretary of State, Gwinnett County - Georgia, Office of Management and Budget
News
February 6, 2020

The Investigation Continues: New Lawsuit Seeks Pence Ukraine Records

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
February 5, 2020

Statement on Senate Impeachment Vote: Oversight Must and Will Continue

Congress
Investigation Update
News
February 4, 2020

Energy Department Releases New Batch of Ukraine Documents

Department of Energy
Investigation Update
News
January 31, 2020

News Roundup: Hear No Evil, See No Evil

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Harris County - Texas, Texas Office of the Governor
News
January 31, 2020

Lifted Redactions Reveal August 2019 Esper Communications About Zelensky, Ukraine Assistance

Department of Defense, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
News
January 28, 2020

Energy Department Releases Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of Energy
Investigation Update
News
January 27, 2020

American Oversight Is Investigating Impeachment Adviser Pam Bondi’s Communications with State Department Official

Department of State
News
January 24, 2020

News Roundup: Evidence of Obstruction

Clayton County - Georgia, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Tennessee Valley Authority, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Texas Secretary of State, Texas Senate
News
January 22, 2020

OMB Releases 192 Pages of Ukraine Records to American Oversight

Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
News
January 17, 2020

News Roundup: The Evidence Continues to Mount

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Clayton County - Georgia, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, Hancock County - Georgia, Jefferson County - Georgia
Investigation Update
News
January 15, 2020

Updated Timeline: Messages About Yovanovitch Surveillance Happened Same Week as Giuliani-Pompeo Calls

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
January 13, 2020

Energy Department Agrees to Release Ukraine Documents This Month

Department of Energy
Investigation Update
January 10, 2020

State Department’s Release of Volker Calendars and Text Messages Raises Further Questions

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
January 10, 2020

News Roundup: Presidential War Powers and New Impeachment Documents

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Department of State, Florida Office of the Governor, Hernando County - Florida, Nassau County - Florida, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Okaloosa County - Florida, Seminole County - Florida
News
January 10, 2020

In the Documents: Investigating the Trump Administration’s Legal Analyses for Potential Use of Force Against Iran

Department of State
Investigation Update
January 8, 2020

State Department Releases Additional Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
January 7, 2020

Did the Trump Administration Abuse the Redactions Process?

Department of Defense, Office of Management and Budget
News
December 27, 2019

American Oversight’s 2019 in Review: Nine Important Stories We Uncovered

News
December 23, 2019

American Oversight’s Investigation into the Restoration of Voting Rights in Florida

Broward County - Florida, Collier County - Florida, Duval County - Florida, Florida Department of State, Florida House of Representatives, Florida Office of the Attorney General, Florida Office of the Governor, Florida Senate, Gadsden County - Florida, Hardee County - Florida, Hendry County - Florida, Hillsborough County - Florida, Leon County - Florida, Miami-Dade County - Florida, Monroe County - Florida, Palm Beach County - Florida, Taylor County - Florida, Washington County - Florida
Investigation Update
December 23, 2019

An Update on Our Investigation into Georgia’s Election System and Voter-Roll Purges

Bartow County - Georgia, Carroll County - Georgia, Catoosa County - Georgia, Clayton County - Georgia, Cobb County - Georgia, Decatur County - Georgia, DeKalb County - Georgia, Dougherty County - Georgia, Fulton County - Georgia, Georgia Department of Driver Services, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State, Gwinnett County - Georgia, Hancock County - Georgia, Jefferson County - Georgia, Lowndes County - Georgia, Macon-Bibb County - Georgia, Paulding County - Georgia, Randolph County - Georgia, Rockdale County - Georgia
Investigation Update
December 23, 2019

Texas Officials’ Communications with ‘Voter Fraud’ Activists

Cameron County - Texas, Dallas County - Texas, Harris County - Texas, Hidalgo County - Texas, Starr County - Texas, Tarrant County - Texas, Texas Attorney General, Texas House of Representatives, Texas Office of the Governor, Texas Secretary of State, Texas Senate, Travis County - Texas, Zavala County - Texas
Investigation Update
December 21, 2019

Defense Department Ukraine Documents Released to American Oversight

Department of Defense
Investigation Update
December 20, 2019

News Roundup: Beyond Impeachment — The Investigations Continue

Administration for Children and Families, Congress, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Government Accountability Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Management and Budget
News
December 18, 2019

Why Trump Has Met the Standard for Obstruction of Congress

Congress, Department of Defense, Department of State
News
December 17, 2019

American Oversight Sues for U.S. Embassy Communications About Trump Properties

Department of State
Investigation Update
December 13, 2019

News Roundup: Stephen Miller’s Extremist Network

Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Carroll County - Georgia, Congress, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Environmental Protection Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Office of Management and Budget, Texas Attorney General
News
December 12, 2019

American Oversight Sues for Treasury Communications About Russian Investment in Kentucky Plant

Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control
Investigation Update
December 11, 2019

Lawsuit over Administration’s Unlawful Seizure of Trump-Putin Meeting Notes Moves Forward

Department of State, National Archives and Records Administration
Investigation Update
News
December 6, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment Report, Border Wall Contracts, and Pompeo’s Meeting with GOP Donors

Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State
News
December 3, 2019

House Committee Impeachment Report References State Department Documents Obtained by American Oversight

Investigation Update
News
November 27, 2019

News Roundup: Thankful for FOIA

Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Kentucky Office of the Governor
News
November 27, 2019

Behind the Scenes: How American Oversight Forced the Release of State Department Ukraine Records

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
November 25, 2019

American Oversight Sues Justice Department for Ukraine-Related Communications

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
News
November 22, 2019

State Department Releases Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
November 22, 2019

News Roundup: Fiona Hill’s Warnings, Nikki Haley’s Emails, and Matt Bevin’s Stay at Trump’s Hotel

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Kentucky Office of the Governor
News
November 21, 2019

Nikki Haley Sent Classified Emails on an Unclassified Email System

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
November 20, 2019

Sondland’s Testimony Highlights State Department Obstruction

Department of Energy, Department of State
News
November 19, 2019

Former DOJ Civil Rights Official Acknowledges He Made Incorrect Statement in Sworn Declaration

Department of Justice
News
November 15, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment Inquiry Goes Public

Bartow County - Georgia, Carroll County - Georgia, Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Council on Environmental Quality, Dallas County - Texas, Decatur County - Georgia, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Veterans Affairs, Florida House of Representatives, Georgia Secretary of State, Harris County - Texas, Lowndes County - Georgia, Paulding County - Georgia, Travis County - Texas
News
November 14, 2019

How ‘Sharpiegate’ Turned a Simple Misunderstanding into a Media Frenzy — and Headache for NOAA Employees

Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Investigation Update
November 8, 2019

News Roundup: Ukraine-Related Documents, Hurdles for Asylum-Seekers, and Chad Wolf’s Involvement in Family Separation

Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Office of the Governor, Office of Information Policy, Office of Legal Counsel, Office of Management and Budget
News
November 7, 2019

What We Learned from the Yovanovitch and McKinley Transcripts

Congress, Department of State
News
October 31, 2019

State Department Agrees to Produce Ukraine Records to American Oversight by November 22

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
October 25, 2019

News Roundup: Court Chips Away at Trump Administration Obstruction

News
October 24, 2019

Research Tool: Ukraine-Trump Key Figures and Documents

Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of the Treasury
News
October 23, 2019

Federal Judge Says He Will Order State Department to Begin Turning Over Requested Ukraine Documents

Department of State
Investigation Update
News
October 22, 2019

New Lawsuit Seeks Perry and Brouillette Ukraine Documents and Communications about Biden Investigation Effort

Department of Energy
Investigation Update
October 18, 2019

News Roundup: Corruption, Plain and Simple

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State
News
October 18, 2019

Court Calls for Hearing on Emergency Motion for Ukraine Documents

Department of State
Investigation Update
October 11, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment, Obstruction, and More Questions about Rick Perry

Administration for Children and Families, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security
News
October 4, 2019

News Roundup: The Public Needs Answers

Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State
Investigation Update
News
October 4, 2019

Former Top Civil Rights Official John Gore Made Misleading Statements in Declaration to Federal Court

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
News
October 4, 2019

Pompeo’s Obstructionism Won’t Work

Department of State
News
October 2, 2019

Pompeo’s Letter Is the Trump Administration’s Opening Salvo of Obstruction

Department of State
News
October 1, 2019

We’re Suing the State Department for Giuliani-Ukraine Documents

Department of State
Investigation Update
September 27, 2019

News Roundup: From the Top Down

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Collier County - Florida, Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Management and Budget
News
September 25, 2019

Release of Trump–Zelensky Call Readout Raises Questions About Justice Department Involvement

Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury
Investigation Update
September 20, 2019

News Roundup: Trump, Giuliani, and Ukraine

Administration for Children and Families, Agency for International Development, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Reserve, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, National Institutes of Health, Starr County - Texas, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Texas Attorney General, Texas Secretary of State, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
News
September 18, 2019

In the Documents: Texas Elections Officials’ Close Ties to ‘Voter Fraud’ Activists

Starr County - Texas, Texas Attorney General, Texas Secretary of State
Investigation Update
September 12, 2019

New Lawsuit Seeks State Department Records of Jared Kushner’s Middle East Trips

Department of State
Investigation Update
September 6, 2019

News Roundup: Trump’s Enthusiastic Support for New Drug Raises Questions

Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Food and Drug Administration, Georgia Department of Driver Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Securities and Exchange Commission, Texas Attorney General
News
August 27, 2019

Investigating HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s Connections to Pharmaceutical Companies

Department of Health and Human Services
Investigation Update
August 13, 2019

More Examples of Personal Email Use and Heavy-Handed Outside Influence at the VA

Department of Veterans Affairs
Investigation Update
News
July 30, 2019

American Oversight Sues Justice Department over Brooklyn Jail’s Inhumane Winter Conditions

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
June 7, 2019

News Roundup: Investigating Outside Influence and Political Appointments at the State Department

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration
News
June 4, 2019

Documents Reveal Extent of Koch-Funded VA Privatization Group’s Influence

Department of Veterans Affairs
Investigation Update
May 30, 2019

Trump Administration Appeals Court Decision Ordering It to Turn Over Communications with Congress About ACA Sabotage

Congress, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
May 17, 2019

News Roundup: Investigating State-Level Threats to Democracy

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida, Georgia, Texas
News
May 3, 2019

News Roundup: Above the Law

Congress, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
News
May 3, 2019

New Evidence of Emoluments Violations Prompts American Oversight Lawsuit

Department of Justice, Department of State
Investigation Update
April 30, 2019

American Oversight Sues HUD for Communications Related to Sale of Trump-Tied Housing Complex

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Investigation Update
April 17, 2019

Why Congress — and the American People — Deserve to See Trump’s Tax Returns

Congress, Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, White House
News
April 12, 2019

News Roundup: DeVos, Mnuchin, Barr Testify in Congress

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Congress, Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Environmental Protection Agency
News
April 2, 2019

Federal Judge Rejects Administration’s Argument for Withholding Communications with Congress about ACA Sabotage

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
News
March 25, 2019

The Corruption Continues: Mueller Has Finished His Work. American Oversight Has Not.

News
March 13, 2019

Two Years of American Oversight

News
March 12, 2019

Investigating the Trump Administration’s Efforts to Sell Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia

Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, International Trade Administration, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
News
March 8, 2019

News Roundup: Lawsuits Against Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services

News
March 8, 2019

Watchdogs Sue HHS Following Women’s Health Website Overhaul

Department of Health and Human Services
News
March 4, 2019

FBI Headquarters Investigation: Agencies Refusing to Search for Records of Trump Interference to Protect Hotel

Investigation Update
March 1, 2019

HHS Secretary Azar Calendars Show Multiple Meetings with Conservative Health-Care Groups

Department of Health and Human Services
News
February 21, 2019

New Lawsuit Seeks HHS Communications with Anti-Abortion Groups

Department of Health and Human Services
News
February 15, 2019

News Roundup: Citizenship, the Census and the Constitution

Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice
News
February 5, 2019

Lawsuit: Why Did Government-Run Site Attached to Trump Hotel Stay Open During the Shutdown?

General Services Administration, National Park Service, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
January 31, 2019

Lawsuit Seeks Emails of DOJ Official Involved in Controversial Civil Rights Decisions

Department of Justice
News
January 24, 2019

Checking Up on Trump’s Claims that Military Experts Told Him to Ban Transgender Troops

Department of Defense
Investigation Update
January 9, 2019

Investigating the Acting Defense Secretary’s Ties to Boeing

Department of Defense
News
January 3, 2019

Government Site Attached to Trump Hotel Stays Open Despite Shutdown and We Want to Know Why

News
December 27, 2018

Countdown to Oversight in 2019

News
December 12, 2018

Audit the Wall: No Plans, Funding or Timeline — And No Wall

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State
Investigation Update
November 19, 2018

Ivanka Trump Email Investigation Sparked by American Oversight FOIAs

Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, Small Business Administration
Investigation Update
November 8, 2018

American Oversight Sues State Department for Trump Organization, Kushner Companies Records

Department of State
Investigation Update
October 23, 2018

New Lawsuit Seeks Details of White House, Trump Organization Involvement in FBI Headquarters Decision

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
May 3, 2018

Court Rules in Favor of American Oversight in Trump Hotel Lawsuit

General Services Administration
Investigation Update
March 9, 2018

American Oversight Sues HHS and CMS for Verma Ethics Records

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
News
February 9, 2018

New Lawsuit Seeks DHS Border Wall Emails with White House, Fox News, Border States

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
Investigation Update
January 12, 2018

Justice Department Staffing Up For Its Ill-Conceived Affirmative Action Investigation

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
January 2, 2018

New FOIAs Seek Records of Civil Rights Investigations at Department of Education

Department of Education
News
December 19, 2017

American Oversight Sues DOD to Uncover Truth Behind Trump’s Transgender Ban

Department of Defense
Investigation Update
December 17, 2017

Trump Transition GSA Emails and Memorandum of Understanding

General Services Administration
Investigation Update
December 11, 2017

State Department Emails Show How Embassy Websites Promoted Mar-a-Lago

Department of State
Investigation Update
November 2, 2017

FOIA In Action: Helping Journalists Expose Questionable Behavior By Trump’s Appointees

Department of Education, Department of Labor, Small Business Administration
News
October 31, 2017

American Oversight Sues State Department for Records Showing Efforts to Compel Mexico to Pay for Border Wall

Department of State
News
October 24, 2017

Texts Show SBA Staff Tried to “Crop the Opulence” from Trump Hotel Event

Small Business Administration
Investigation Update
October 17, 2017

Health Care Lawsuit: Fighting for Transparency

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
October 17, 2017

5 Questions for Attorney General Sessions

Department of Justice
October 4, 2017

DOJ Confirms Harvard Affirmative Action Investigation

Department of Justice
News
September 15, 2017

Congress Enters Legal Fight to Block Release of Obamacare Repeal Emails

Congress, Department of Health and Human Services
Investigation Update
September 13, 2017

“News to Me!” – Inside the Health Care Emails

Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
September 7, 2017

Third Set of Health Care Emails Again Shows Trump Administration Effort to Hide Negotiations

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
September 7, 2017

DACA Announcement Reflects Lack of Seriousness About the Law

Department of Justice
News
September 2, 2017

DOJ Confirms Trump Lied in “Wiretap” Tweets

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
August 4, 2017

Ethics 101: Twitter Ads Follow President Trump to Bedminster, NJ

Investigation Update
August 2, 2017

New Health Care Documents Show Effort to Hide Details of Negotiations

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
August 1, 2017

American Oversight Obtains Attorney General Sessions SF-86 Signature Page

Department of Justice
Investigation Update
August 1, 2017

Statement on Waiver of Environmental Regulations for Border Wall

Investigation Update
July 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches “Defund Trump” Investigation

Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Investigation Update
July 21, 2017

American Oversight Calls for Resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
News
July 20, 2017

American Oversight Sues HHS and OMB For Secret Trump Letter Outlining Plan to Weaken Obamacare

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget, White House
Investigation Update
July 13, 2017

DOJ Releases Redacted Page of Sessions’s SF-86 to American Oversight

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
June 28, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Sues GSA for Trump International Hotel Lease Records

General Services Administration
Investigation Update
June 16, 2017

Watchdog Group Files Lawsuit on Trump Border Wall

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
May 24, 2017

After American Oversight Lawsuit, DOJ Confirms that Sessions Lied about Russian Contacts

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 16, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Comey-Trump Memos

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 12, 2017

Letter to Burr and Warner: Senate Should Request Trump-Comey Tapes

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 10, 2017

Statement on the Firing of FBI Director Comey

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 10, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Calls for IG Investigation of Sessions for Violating Recusal

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation Update
May 4, 2017

Watchdog Files Lawsuit, Seeks Injunction for HHS, OMB Health Care Negotiation Record

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
May 3, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Calls for Investigation into Pattern of Promoting Trump Family Ventures on Government Websites

Department of State
News
April 25, 2017

American Oversight Files IG Complaint over State Department Promotion of Mar-A-Lago

Department of State
Investigation Update
April 19, 2017

American Oversight Sues DOJ for Release of Trump Tower Wiretap Records, Russia Investigation Documents

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, White House
Investigation Update
March 29, 2017

Call for GSA Inspector General to Review Trump Hotel Lease Decision

General Services Administration
Investigation Update
March 28, 2017

Statement on Trump Administration Proposal to Build Border Wall South of Rio Grande

Department of the Interior
Investigation Update
March 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches Investigation of President Trump’s Border Wall

Department of Homeland Security
Investigation Update
March 23, 2017

American Oversight Demands Release of Secret Health Care Negotiations

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Management and Budget
Investigation Update
March 22, 2017

Statement on Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes’ Actions

Investigation Update
March 17, 2017

American Oversight Calls on Congress to Investigate Trump Aide’s Reported Ties to Nazi Group

Office of Government Ethics, White House
News