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

On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr issued a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation. According to Barr, Mueller concluded that the president did not conspire with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, but left open the question of whether he obstructed justice. The president promptly crowed that the report provided “complete and total exoneration.”

The president’s claim is, of course, false. It’s false for many reasons. First, it is false on its face because Mueller explicitly wrote that his report “does not exonerate” Trump from having committed a crime. Second, until the public sees the full Mueller report, it’s impossible to know how or why Mueller reached his conclusions. Based on the public record, the Trump campaign may not have engaged in an express conspiracy with Russia, but it appears at minimum to have flirted with doing so. Until we see the evidence, we can’t know whether Trump was exonerated as a technical legal matter or whether he in fact acted entirely above board.

Third, Mueller’s findings were limited to collusion and obstruction. Barr’s report said nothing about the election fraud we know Trump engaged in by paying off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to avoid the public learning about his trysts. Likewise, the report is silent on the rogues’ gallery of criminals Trump surrounded himself with, including during his presidency (Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and others).

Finally, the corruption of the Trump administration goes far beyond and far deeper than even the criminality described above. From the top down, the administration is transactional, me-first, and fundamentally corrupt. American Oversight has spent two years investigating the corrupt actions and intentions that plague seemingly every Trump agency. If Trump thinks the end of the Mueller investigation means he has a clean slate, he’s wrong. If anything, the Mueller investigation has permitted scores of corrupt acts to go under-scrutinized.

If you need proof, look no further than a report from Reveal published on Saturday about a recording of oil executives laughing at and “almost giddy” about their extraordinary influence with administration officials at the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. The recording, from the summer of 2017, reveals Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) officials boasting of “unprecedented access” to then–Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, then–EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and David Bernhardt, the former oil industry lobbyist and lawyer for the IPAA, who was then the deputy interior secretary.

For the oil executives, the Trump administration is too good to be true. The rest of us are not laughing.

While we still need full transparency on what Mueller found, we also need to recommit to uncovering the corruption of the federal government that costs taxpayers money, lines officials’ pockets, and undermines democracy from within. Collusion was never the only count on the indictment of the Trump administration.

In the spirit of Attorney General Barr’s letter, here are the “principal conclusions” of other investigations into the first two years of the Trump administration.

Long-term Environmental Damage and High-Level Abuses of Power

The oil executives caught giggling over their access were right to be happy. In the year and a half since they boasted of their connections, the government has acceded to the industry’s demands, severely weakening regulations on air and water pollution and opening up millions of acres to drilling and mining.

Pruitt — whose calendars (especially those he kept hidden) showed he prioritized meetings with industry lobbyists over environmental experts — left the administration in 2018 in a cloud of scandals. The climate change skeptic had ratcheted up a list of ethics controversies, including first-class air travel (but only when it was taxpayer-funded), $50-per-night stays in a lobbyist’s condo, and a secret phone booth that American Oversight discovered cost $43,000.

Zinke exited the administration under a similar ethical cloud. His tenure was marked by perks for personal friends and his involvement in a questionable real-estate deal with Halliburton. Zinke and his wife spent tens of thousands on taxpayer-funded travel and security details, and American Oversight obtained records of office renovation expenses that show considerable time and energy spent hanging animal heads loaned by his Montana friends. When he left, Zinke handed the reins of Interior to his deputy, Bernhardt, who had continued to provide political advice to a client after telling Congress he’d stopped lobbying — and reportedly has so many potential conflicts of interest he has to carry around a card listing them all.

American taxpayers footed the bill for the privileged public-service lifestyle Trump’s appointees claimed for themselves. And from loosened standards on toxic chemicals to the suppression of scientific reports, we will continue to pay the price for the administration’s regulatory capture for years.

Kleptocracy and Nepotism

Of course, Pruitt and Zinke weren’t the first administration officials to resign in scandal. In September 2017, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price stepped down after his frequent taxpayer-funded trips on chartered jets came to light. He’s not the only cabinet official to have made wasteful or frivolous travel decisions. Nor were Zinke and Pruitt the only officials to waste federal money on exorbitantly priced office upgrades. After news broke that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson attempted to purchase a $31,000 dining set for his office, he first blamed his wife. Records obtained by American Oversight, however, revealed that Carson had been directly involved in the furniture selection.

Carson has also allowed his family unprecedented influence and involvement at HUD. American Oversight uncovered records that show Carson’s son, Ben Carson Jr., has attempted to use his influence to advance his own private business interests, including efforts to include a neighborhood on his Secretary Carson’s tour of Baltimore that the younger Carson’s company was considering investing in. HUD later awarded a $1.3 million grant to that neighborhood. The HUD inspector general is currently investigating the role of the secretary’s family at the department, and our own investigation continues.

Across the administration, the weight of cabinet officials’ financial conflicts of interest threatens to sink them into the swamp. Billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ complex web of financial holdings make it difficult to track his recusal obligations. On multiple occasions, Ross has failed to divest assets he promised he would, even making a profit from industry groups he was revealed to have had meetings with while in office. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has allowed for-profit and religious schools a high level of influence and access at her department, revised her 2018 financial disclosure form dozens of times before submitting it late, raising questions about accuracy.

Attempts to use government office for personal enrichment is a theme of the administration, no more so than with the president himself. Trump has failed to financially divest from his business, allowing him to profit off the presidency in previously unheard-of ways, and agencies have failed to produce any records of general guidance on spending federal money at Trump properties, opening the door for further corruption. The president interfered with longstanding plans to relocate the FBI headquarters from its current location in Washington, D.C., and we’ve sued multiple agencies for records that could shed light on whether it was done to prevent competition with his hotel that sits one block away. (Several of those agencies, by the way, are refusing to even search for the records we requested.)

There’s far more, of course. American Oversight uncovered emails showing that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao gave special treatment to Kentucky-specific requests from the office of her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And we obtained agency calendars that reveal alarmingly frequent and friendly meetings with far-right groups and with representatives of the same industries that government departments are supposed to be regulating. Multiple administration officials were involved in a scheme to sell nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia, over the objections of the head of the National Security Council and top ethics officials — calendars we obtained show the extent of the administration’s involvement, and we’ve filed FOIA requests for more information.

Kakistocracy and Unsuitable Appointments

The corruption isn’t just financial. Trump has populated his administration with appointees lacking the most necessary professional experience, seemingly valuing political loyalty over expertise. We’ve obtained hundreds of resumes revealing allegiance to Trump along with meager qualifications, and the administration has reportedly been retaliating against career government employees seen as disloyal. At the same time, the president has called upon the Justice Department to investigate his perceived political enemies. Through Freedom of Information Act litigation, American Oversight has uncovered the signed directive — which the Justice Department previously claimed didn’t exist — from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructing a federal prosecutor to carry out Trump’s authoritarian demand to investigate Hillary Clinton.

The list goes on: Claims of widespread voter fraud by Trump and members of his now-defunct commission on election integrity were revealed to be a ruse. Emails obtained by American Oversight show that Trump’s transgender military ban caught Pentagon officials by surprise.  And Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner used private email and messaging accounts to conduct official business, despite Trump’s 2016 campaign’s focus on Clinton’s use of a private email server.

This inventory of corruption is far from comprehensive, and the many scandals are symptoms of an administration serving the interests of the powerful rather than those of the nation. Mueller’s investigation focused only on Russian interference and obstruction of justice, and did not go so far as to exonerate the president of obstruction. In the meantime, after sitting on the sidelines for two years, Congress is finally investigating issues like the Trump administration’s campaign-finance violations, its failed responses to hurricanes, and its zero-tolerance immigration policy that separated thousands of children from their parents. American Oversight has filed parallel FOIA requests, and is prepared to sue if the administration continues to stonewall Congress.

Barr’s summary of the special counsel investigation’s report makes clear two things: First, Congress must have access to the full report. And second, no matter what the report contains, the American public did not need Mueller to expose more than two years of unprecedented corruption. The evidence of that has been here all along.

Related Blog Posts

September 14, 2020

Covid-19 Oversight News: Scientific Integrity Concerns and Anti-Immigration Opportunism

September 14, 2020

Rick Perry’s Energy Industry Connections and the Trump Administration’s Ukraine Policy

Department of Energy
August 27, 2020

News Roundup: The Rules That (Don’t) Apply

DHS - United States Secret Service, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, United States Postal Service
August 21, 2020

News Roundup: The Grift Economy

Department of Justice, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, United States Postal Service
July 29, 2020

New Coronavirus Relief Bill Includes Nearly $2 Billion for Trump-Requested FBI Headquarters Project

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget
July 14, 2020

Investigations Update: Militarization of Police, Covid-19 in Migrant Detention Centers, and Barr’s Political Interference

Central Intelligence Agency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, DHS - Transportation Security Administration, DOD - Defense Logistics Agency, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - Office of Legal Counsel, Florida - Palm Beach County, General Services Administration
July 10, 2020

News Roundup: Sidelining Safety and Science

Florida House of Representatives, Illinois - Chicago Mayor's Office, Illinois - Cook County
July 9, 2020

Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s ‘Absolute Immunity’ Claims

Department of the Treasury, Treasury - Internal Revenue Service, White House
July 1, 2020

American Oversight Sues Treasury for Records Related to Coronavirus Stimulus

Department of the Treasury
June 19, 2020

News Roundup: The Administration’s Failure to Confront Two National Crises

Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DOJ - Civil Division, DOJ - Civil Rights Division, DOT Office of Inspector General, Florida - Jacksonville Mayor’s Office, Florida Department of Health, Florida Office of the Governor, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Credit Union Administration, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Small Business Administration, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Treasury - Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, United States Postal Service, White House - Office of Science and Technology Policy, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
June 18, 2020

New Lawsuit Seeks Records of Jared Kushner’s Failed Coronavirus Supply Chain Task Force

Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
May 22, 2020

News Roundup: One Firing, Multiple Scandals

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 Interior, DOD - Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia - Athens-Clarke County, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Secretary of State, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Small Business Administration, State Office of the Inspector General, Texas - Bexar County, Texas - Dallas County, Texas - Harris County, Texas - Travis County, Texas - Webb County, Texas Department of State Health Services, U.S. Agency for International Development
May 15, 2020

News Roundup: The Subversion of Justice at the Justice Department

Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, 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 the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Office of Legal Counsel, DOT - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Department of Corrections, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, Louisiana - New Orleans Mayor's Office, Louisiana Department of Health, Louisiana Office of the Governor, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Office of the Mayor, New York Office of the Governor, New York State Department of Health, Office of Management and Budget, Small Business Administration, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, United States Postal Service, Wisconsin Elections Commission
May 8, 2020

News Roundup: Who Will Watch the Inspectors General?

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 Treasury, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - United States Coast Guard, DOD - Department of the Air Force, DOD - Department of the Army, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, DOD - U.S. Marine Corps, DOJ - Civil Division, DOJ - Criminal Division, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Election Commission, Georgia - Troup County, Georgia Attorney General, Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Treasury - Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Agency for International Development
May 1, 2020

News Roundup: Protecting the Right to Vote During a Pandemic

Arizona - Yuma County, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Arizona Department of Homeland Security, Arizona-Mexico Commission, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida Department of State, Florida Office of the Governor, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia - Richmond County, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, Indiana Secretary of State, Iowa Secretary of State, Kentucky Secretary of State, Kentucky State Board of Elections, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, New Jersey - Essex County, New Orleans, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Texas Attorney General, Texas Secretary of State, Wisconsin Elections Commission
April 24, 2020

News Roundup: Miracle Drugs and Trump’s Alternate Reality

Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, 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 Veterans Affairs, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Prisons, Florida Department of Corrections, General Services Administration, Georgia - Albany-Dougherty County, Georgia - Chatham County, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia - Macon-Bibb County, Georgia - Muscogee County, Georgia - Richmond County, Georgia Department of Community Health, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, HHS - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, HHS - National Institutes of Health, Illinois - Cook County, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Texas Health and Human Services, USDA - Food Safety and Inspection Service, VA - Veterans Health Administration, Washington - King County
April 21, 2020

The Administration’s Attempts to Stonewall Investigations of Trump FBI Headquarters Interference Stumble in Court

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget
April 10, 2020

News Roundup: Corruption and Coronavirus

Commerce - Census Bureau, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS - United States Secret Service, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, DOJ - Executive Office for Immigration Review, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - Justice Management Division, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, DOJ - Office of Legal Counsel, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, HHS - Indian Health Service, Nevada Department of Administration, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, U.S. Agency for International Development
April 6, 2020

Administration-Wide Indifference Continues on How to Ethically Handle Spending Taxpayer Money at Trump Properties

Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, DHS - United States Secret Service, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, DOJ - Office of Legal Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency, Small Business Administration
March 27, 2020

News Roundup: Transparency and Oversight Are More Important Than Ever

Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Executive Office for Immigration Review, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - National Security Division, DOJ - U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Election Commission, Florida Attorney General, Florida Department of State, Florida Office of the Governor, General Services Administration, Georgia - Bartow County, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Tennessee Valley Authority, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Texas Secretary of State
March 16, 2020

Energy Department Releases Records from Rick Perry’s May 2019 Trip to Ukraine

Department of Energy
March 6, 2020

News Roundup: Rising Coronavirus Fears and Sinking Public Trust

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 Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOI - Bureau of Land Management, DOJ - Criminal Division, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, Federal Reserve, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Department of Driver Services, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, HHS - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, HHS - National Institutes of Health, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Texas - Briscoe County, Texas - Freestone County, Texas - Hall County, Texas - Hill County, Texas - Hood County, Texas - Jones County, Texas - Kendall County, Texas - Lavaca County, Texas - Leon County, Texas - Limestone County, Texas - Loving County, Texas - Morris County, Texas - Scurry County, Texas - Starr County, Texas - Swisher County, Texas - Victoria County, Texas Secretary of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, VA - Veterans Health Administration, Washington - King County, Washington State Department of Health
February 28, 2020

News Roundup: Launching Our Investigation of Trump’s Authoritarian Purges

Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, 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, DOD - National Security Agency, DOI - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida - Hillsborough County, Florida - Leon County, Florida Department of State, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
February 21, 2020

News Roundup: The Post-Impeachment Purge and the Knock of Authoritarianism

Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, DHS - United States Secret Service, DOI - Fish and Wildlife Service, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
February 21, 2020

New Lawsuit Seeks Records of Mitch McConnell’s Influence at Transportation, Energy, State Departments

Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of Transportation
February 20, 2020

American Oversight Sues for Communications of Two Top Interior Department Officials

Department of the Interior, DOI - Bureau of Land Management
February 14, 2020

News Roundup: Trump Has Learned His ‘Lesson’

Central Intelligence Agency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 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, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, Federal Reserve, Florida House of Representatives, Florida Senate, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Kentucky Office of the Governor, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Wisconsin Senate, Wisconsin State Assembly
February 7, 2020

News Roundup: Acquittal Isn’t the End

Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of State, Florida Department of State, Georgia - Cobb County, Georgia - DeKalb County, Georgia - Fulton County, Georgia - Gwinnett County, Georgia Secretary of State, Office of Management and Budget
February 4, 2020

Energy Department Releases New Batch of Ukraine Documents

Department of Energy
January 28, 2020

Energy Department Releases Ukraine Documents to American Oversight

Department of Energy
January 24, 2020

News Roundup: Evidence of Obstruction

Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, DOT - Federal Aviation Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Communications Commission, Georgia - Clayton County, 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
January 23, 2020

In the Documents: How the 2018-2019 Government Shutdown Affected Federal Science Agencies

Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, DHS - Federal Emergency Management Agency, DOI - U.S. Geological Survey, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
January 17, 2020

News Roundup: The Evidence Continues to Mount

Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia - Clayton County, Georgia - Hancock County, Georgia - Jefferson County, HHS - Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services
January 13, 2020

Energy Department Agrees to Release Ukraine Documents This Month

Department of Energy
January 3, 2020

In the Documents: New Information on Scott Pruitt’s Fleet of Luxury SUVs

Environmental Protection Agency
December 27, 2019

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

December 20, 2019

News Roundup: Beyond Impeachment — The Investigations Continue

Congress, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 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, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOL - Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Government Accountability Office, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, Office of Management and Budget
December 17, 2019

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

Department of State
December 13, 2019

News Roundup: Stephen Miller’s Extremist Network

Congress, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DOI - Bureau of Land Management, DOI - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia - Carroll County, Office of Management and Budget, Texas Attorney General, Treasury - Office of Foreign Assets Control
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, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Kentucky Office of the Governor
November 15, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment Inquiry Goes Public

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

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

Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce
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, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, DOJ - Office of Legal Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Office of the Governor, Office of Management and Budget
November 1, 2019

News Roundup: Impeachment Votes and Sonny Perdue’s Georgia Connections

Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DOI - National Park Service
October 31, 2019

In the Documents: Interior Department Officials Arranging VIP Tours for Trump Administration Figures and Allies

Department of the Interior, DOI - National Park Service
October 11, 2019

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

Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, HHS - Administration for Children and Families, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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
September 27, 2019

Using FOIA to Fight Trump Administration Obstruction

Department of the Interior, DOI - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
June 25, 2019

Lawsuit Seeks Records of Trump Family Influence over Minnesota Mining Project

Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, DOI - Bureau of Land Management, USDA - United States Forest Service
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
May 3, 2019

New Evidence of Emoluments Violations Prompts American Oversight Lawsuit

Department of Justice, Department of State
April 30, 2019

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

Department of Housing and Urban Development
April 17, 2019

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

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

News Roundup: DeVos, Mnuchin, Barr Testify in Congress

Congress, 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, DOI - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Environmental Protection Agency, White House - Council on Environmental Quality
March 29, 2019

News Roundup: The Mueller Investigation Is Over, But the Swamp Is Thriving

March 13, 2019

Two Years of American Oversight

March 8, 2019

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

March 4, 2019

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

February 5, 2019

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

DOI - National Park Service, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget
January 3, 2019

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

December 12, 2018

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

Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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
November 8, 2018

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

Department of State
October 23, 2018

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

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

Court Rules in Favor of American Oversight in Trump Hotel Lawsuit

General Services Administration
April 17, 2018

Lawsuit Seeks Scott Pruitt and Nino Perrotta Travel and Security Spending Records

Environmental Protection Agency
April 6, 2018

New: EPA Documents Show Details of Pruitt Office Renovations

Environmental Protection Agency
March 16, 2018

Sunshine Week Blog: FOIAs Will Continue Until Accountability Improves

December 20, 2017

Update: EPA IG Refuses to Investigate Controversial Contract

Environmental Protection Agency
December 17, 2017

Trump Transition GSA Emails and Memorandum of Understanding

General Services Administration
December 11, 2017

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

Department of State
December 1, 2017

American Oversight and Environmental Working Group Seek Answers about Dourson’s Work at EPA

Environmental Protection Agency
November 16, 2017

American Oversight and EWG Seek Records of Industry Influence at Department of Energy

Department of Energy
November 2, 2017

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

Department of Education, Department of Labor, Small Business Administration
October 24, 2017

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

Small Business Administration
October 5, 2017

Lawsuit Seeks Records of Lolita Zinke’s Travel, Role at Department of the Interior

Department of the Interior
October 3, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Calendars Show Deep Industry Connections

Environmental Protection Agency
September 29, 2017

“Serious, Likely Irreparable” Damage from Border Wall

Department of the Interior
September 7, 2017

Investigating EPA’s Attacks on a Journalist

Environmental Protection Agency
August 30, 2017

Watchdog Groups Launch Joint Investigation into EPA Oversight of Toxic Substances Control Act

August 28, 2017

Statement on EPA IG Investigation of Pruitt Travel

Environmental Protection Agency
August 4, 2017

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

August 1, 2017

Statement on Waiver of Environmental Regulations for Border Wall

July 27, 2017

Call for OSC Investigation of Pruitt Travel to Oklahoma

Environmental Protection Agency
July 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches “Defund Trump” Investigation

Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 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 the U.S. Trade Representative, White House - Council on Environmental Quality, White House - Office of Science and Technology Policy
June 28, 2017

Ethics Watchdog Sues GSA for Trump International Hotel Lease Records

General Services Administration
June 27, 2017

American Oversight Sues EPA to Release Pruitt’s Calendars and Communications with Carl Icahn

Environmental Protection Agency
June 22, 2017

American Oversight and Environmental Working Group Challenge EPA Over Failure to Release Pesticide Records

Environmental Protection Agency
June 16, 2017

Watchdog Group Files Lawsuit on Trump Border Wall

Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Management and Budget
May 3, 2017

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

Department of State
April 25, 2017

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

Department of State
April 12, 2017

American Oversight and Environmental Working Group Demand Release of Pruitt Communications with Pesticide Industry

Environmental Protection Agency
April 4, 2017

10 Questions about the Border Wall that Deserve Big, Beautiful Answers

Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
March 29, 2017

Call for GSA Inspector General to Review Trump Hotel Lease Decision

General Services Administration
March 28, 2017

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

Department of the Interior
March 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches Investigation of President Trump’s Border Wall

Department of Homeland Security