Lawsuit Filed on Second Anniversary of Border Wall Announcement Seeks Release of Documents and Communications Related to Wall’s Construction and Impact
Washington, DC – Non-partisan ethics watchdog American Oversight today filed suit against the Trump administration to force the release of communications, documents, and plans related to the president’s proposed border wall. The lawsuit comes two years to the day after then-candidate Trump unveiled plans for a border wall when he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015.
“Two years after candidate Donald Trump announced his border wall, the American public has still been told shockingly little about one of the administration’s signature policy initiatives,” said American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers. “The wall could cost tens of billions of dollars and fundamentally reshape our southern border. Whether you think it’s a good idea or not, it’s clear that the American people deserve more information about where their tax dollars are going and what impact the wall will have.”
Beginning on March 21, 2017, American Oversight filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with multiple federal departments and agencies related to the border wall, including the Department Homeland Security (DHS) and its component Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of the Interior (DOI), as well as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The agencies failed to adequately respond to a number of the requests. As a result, American Oversight has filed suit against DHS, CBP, DOI, and OMB in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to force the government to comply with the law.
These requests cover a range of critical, but unanswered, questions surrounding Trump’s proposed border wall, including environmental impact analyses, cost estimates and plans to utilize eminent domain to seize land near the border.
On Friday, American Oversight also filed two new FOIA requests seeking additional information about the wall project. The new requests ask for records of meetings between DHS officials and Charles Johnson and Palmer Luckey, as well as information about the composition of the CBP board responsible for the approval of wall contracts.
The lawsuit and FOIA requests are part of American Oversight’s Audit the Wall initiative, which seeks to unearth information about construction of the border wall, one of President Trump’s signature policy initiatives.
Part of Investigation: