Why Former Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue’s Compliance with Federal Ethics Rules Still Needs to Be Investigated

This week, the Washington Post published a deeply reported article about the financial dealings of former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue — namely, a little-noticed real estate deal undertaken in the weeks between Perdue’s nomination and his confirmation by the Senate. 

As detailed by Post reporter Desmond Butler, Perdue’s former company AGrowStar bought a South Carolina grain plant in February 2017 for a fraction of its estimated value. The transaction, which Perdue was not legally required to disclose prior to his confirmation, raises serious questions not just about his financial disclosures but also about whether the seller, a giant agricultural corporation with a multimillion-dollar lobbying outfit, was looking to extract favorable treatment from the new Trump administration. 

But Perdue’s federal ethics agreements have also drawn scrutiny for other reasons. Last October, American Oversight called upon the Agriculture Department’s inspector general to examine Perdue’s disclosures as well as whether the Trump administration took an action that may have earned Perdue millions of dollars. In addition, an examination of his financial disclosures from 2017 through 2019 reveal a number of unexplained oddities, which were also highlighted by the Post. 

Here, American Oversight explains how a potential decision by the Army Corps of Engineers while Perdue was serving in the Trump administration could have been a lucrative one for him. We also take a closer look at the federal disclosures from his first three years in office, identifying several financial holdings that disappear one year and reappear the next. 

Federal Ethics Disclosures 

While January marked the end of an historically corrupt administration in which conflicts of interest abounded, the importance of robust ethics rules for government officials has not diminished. Indeed, the Trump administration made clear the need for transparency when it comes to ensuring that officials are not using government positions to advance their personal interests.  

Ethics agreements — and waivers granting officials permission to go around those limits — can reveal key information about potential conflicts or raise important questions about whether those same officials are abiding by the rules. Holding former high-level members of the Trump administration accountable for any self-enrichment or ethics conflicts is an ongoing project that, along with strengthening the federal ethics program, is part of ensuring such abuses of office do not occur in the future. 

The former governor of Georgia, Perdue entered the Trump administration with a long recusal letter and an extensive financial disclosure report that listed a number of Georgia-based businesses to which he was tied. In October 2020, American Oversight sent a letter to the Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General asking the office to investigate whether Secretary Perdue was violating his ethics agreement with some of his investments. Our request for investigation centered on two basic issues: first, whether Perdue’s holdings violated the plain language of his ethics agreement, and second, whether Perdue played an improper role in an Army Corps of Engineers decision that may have increased the value of one of those holdings, a business called Soque River Conservation LLC, by approximately $3 million.  

We asked the inspector general to investigate because, due to the limits of disclosure laws, there is only so much we can know about whether Perdue abided by the ethics agreement he signed when he took office. Below, we outline some of the open questions that we hope the inspector general can answer.  

Soque River Conservation 

Perdue’s Soque River Conservation transaction has drawn attention because of the specific way a Trump administration decision may have resulted in a significant windfall for Perdue. 

In 2009, while governor, Perdue and a business partner bought a plot of land along the Soque River in northern Georgia. That land was ultimately converted to a wetland mitigation bank, which is a system of land preservation where bank credits are granted by the federal government to offset adverse impacts to wetlands in other locations. Perdue and his partner received both wetland and stream credits from the government for turning the land into a wetland preserve, which they could sell to developers.  

The wetland credits were far more valuable than the stream credits: In 2019, a Georgia Department of Transportation memo valued the stream credits at a mere $38 each, while wetland credits were valued at $50,000. In 2018, while Perdue was agriculture secretary, his Soque River business partner petitioned the Army Corps of Engineers to convert some of its stream credits to wetland credits. The exchange Soque River Conservation requested — 616.01 stream credits for 59.12 wetland credits — would have increased the value of their credits by approximately $2.9 million using the Transportation Department estimations.  

It isn’t clear from the Army Corps’ database how many of the credits were ultimately converted. But the request itself, and the conversions that we know did happen, is highly problematic, given Perdue’s enormous potential financial benefit from a federal government decision and his status as a co-owner of the business. We asked USDA’s inspector general to investigate whether Perdue attempted to influence the Army Corps’ decision, directly or indirectly.  

Issues with Perdue’s Ethics Filings 

Standing to personally profit off the Soque River decision was not the only concerning detail from Perdue’s ethics filings, however. Perdue seemed to have been in violation of the terms of his ethics agreement, and had assets disappear and reappear from disclosure filings in ways that suggest that either he may have failed to file appropriate transaction reports (he hasn’t filed any) or he may have failed to disclose all of his holdings in 2018. Below are some additional details from Perdue’s ethics filings that we did not include in our letter. 

As part of his confirmation proceedings in March 2017, Perdue outlined the steps he would take to avoid ethical questions and conflicts of interest as secretary. (You can read Perdue’s ethics agreement and the rest of his ethics filings referenced here by searching the Office of Government Ethics’ database.) In addition to other actions, Perdue had two trusts that he agreed to “restructure” so that neither Perdue nor his wife would benefit from them. He also agreed that neither he nor his wife would serve as trustees.  

The two trusts were Perdue Family Revocable Management Trust and Perdue Family Wealth Preservation Trust. Of particular concern is a sub-entity called Perdue Business Holdings, which is the only sub-entity in the trusts specified in the ethics agreement. Let’s take a look at what assets were in those trusts in March 2017 

Above: Perdue Family Revocable Management Trust holdings, March 2017.
Above: Perdue Family Wealth Preservation Trust holdings, March 2017.

 

The trusts held multiple assets, most of which are held by Perdue Business Holdings (all assets that have numbers beginning with 8.2 are held by Perdue Business Holdings). Given that Perdue Business Holdings is singled out in the ethics agreement, and given the agreement’s requirement that the two trusts be restructured so they don’t benefit Perdue or his wife, none of the underlying assets in either trust should have benefited the Perdues after they divested. 

On July 17, 2017, Perdue signed a certification saying that all steps outlined in his agreement had been taken. Perdue’s certification also makes a special note of Perdue Business Holdings — Perdue had to certify that he had transferred all financial interests in the sub-entity to a new trust for which he and his wife would not serve as trustees and from which they would not benefit.  

Disappearing and Reappearing Assets  

In 2018, when Perdue filed his annual ethics disclosure, he did not list either of the two trusts nor any of the assets that were held by the trusts, including Perdue Business Holdings.  

Left: Section 6 of Perdue’s 2017 disclosure. Right: Section 6 of Perdue’s 2018 disclosure.

Perdue’s 2018 disclosure revealed other significant changes. Not only did the number of assets drop considerably; the value of Perdue’s assets dropped, too. In 2017, the assets he held were valued between $11,115,017 and $46,356,000, while in 2018 his assets were valued between $1,965,009 and $4 million.  

In 2019, however, nearly all of the assets from which Perdue had divested, including Perdue Business Holdings, reappeared in two new trusts: the FALF Preservation Trust and the FALF Management Trust.   

Perdue’s 2017 (left) and 2019 (right) disclosure forms, with assets that disappeared and reappeared highlighted.

Not surprisingly, when Perdue’s assets reappeared in 2019, the total value of his disclosure increased to a level nearly identical to what it was in 2017: between $11,565,017 and $47,257,000.  

In sum: Perdue agreed to forgo ownership of Perdue Business Holdings in 2017, disclosed in 2018 that he no longer owned Perdue Business Holdings or any of its underlying assets, then disclosed that he did, in fact, own Perdue Business Holdings assets again in 2019.  

There are some assets that had been part of Perdue Business Holdings in 2017 that did not reappear when that group of assets reappeared in Perdue’s two new trusts in 2019. It’s possible that the underlying conflict of interest was not with Perdue Business Holdings, but rather with one of the underlying assets that did not reappear in 2019, such as ProAg Products or AGrowStar LLC. Because Perdue’s ethics agreement does not detail why he had taken the steps he did, only that he had to take them, it was impossible for us to know whether Perdue was engaging in a conflict of interest that his ethics agreement sought to solve. What we do know is that by serving as a trustee of and benefiting from trusts that own Perdue Business Holdings assets, Perdue appeared to be violating the plain language of this ethics agreement, even if that violation would not otherwise be a violation of ethics rules or laws. This uncertainty also highlights the need for more transparency when it comes to disclosures. 

Another question about Perdue’s ethics disclosures centered on transaction reports. In addition to annual disclosure forms, federal officials have to file a transaction report within 30 days of buying or selling a new asset. If the asset is bought or sold close to the time the official will file their annual disclosure form, there’s space to disclose their transactions there.  

It appears that Perdue did not file a single transaction report after he was confirmed. When you search for all of Perdue’s ethics filings with OGE, there are only seven records. None of them are transaction reports. There aren’t any transactions listed in Perdue’s annual disclosure filings either. According to Perdue’s filings, as of January 13, 2021, he had neither bought nor sold any assets since his initial disclosure in 2017. 

A Potential Explanation: Family Gifts 

If we are to believe Perdue’s ethics filings, he gave away no less than $7.5 million worth of assets before the end of 2017, then around November 2018, those assets or nearly identical assets were returned to him through the FALF Management Trust and the FALF Wealth Preservation Trust.  

According to his 2019 disclosure, Perdue lists himself as a co-trustee of the FALF Management Trust, a position that apparently began in November 2018.  

Perdue’s 2019 ethics disclosure form.

One way Perdue might have legally moved millions of dollars in assets out of, and then back into, his control without reporting any transactions centers on a loophole in the ethics guidelines for gifts to family members. Federal ethics rules do not require the disclosure of gifts of any value to or from relatives. Unlike other federal ethics rules that only apply to spouses and dependent children, the definition of “relative for the purposes of gift-giving is much broader and includes parents, siblings, adult children, and others. Gifts of any kind between family members, whether a birthday gift worth a hundred dollars or assets from a trust valued in the millions, are not required to be enumerated for federal ethics disclosures. 

Given this loophole, Perdue could have gifted all of the assets from the original trusts to one or more of his family members such as his adult children. The family members could have then sold the offending underlying assets, and gifted the remaining assets back to Perdue through the new trust. Current ethics rules would not require any of those gifts or transactions to be disclosed because they would have transpired with Perdue’s non-spouse, adult relatives.  

If the ethically problematic holdings were limited to ProAg Products and AGrowStar LLC (the assets that did not reappear in 2019) and not the other underlying assets of Perdue Business Holdings, this hypothetical could explain what happened with Perdue’s inconsistent financial disclosures. But because his ethics agreement does not specify which parts of Perdue Business Holdings were problematic, we cannot be sure.  

Because of the limits of FOIA and privacy laws, there’s only so much American Oversight and other watchdogs can do to answer these questions. That’s why we called on USDA’s inspector general to investigate. Maybe Perdue has committed some serious ethics violations or maybe there’s a reasonable explanation. In either case, we hope that the inspector general takes a look and lets the American public know which it is.  

In the meantime, American Oversight will continue to support greater transparency in federal ethics disclosures and to hold both current and former officials accountable to the American public. 

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California Department of Public Health, California Department of Technology, Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Prisons, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, DOJ - U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida - Jacksonville Mayor’s Office, Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Management Services, Florida Office of the Governor, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Technology Authority, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, HHS - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, New York Office of the Governor, New York State Department of Health, New York State Office of Information Technology Services, Small Business Administration, Texas Health and Human Services, Texas Office of the Governor, Wisconsin - Waukesha County
July 17, 2020

News Roundup: Transparency in Hospital Data, and Barr’s Meetings with Giuliani and Gowdy

Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, White House - 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
June 23, 2020

The Federal Government’s Latest Attempt to Delay the Release of Coronavirus Documents

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Food and Drug Administration
June 19, 2020

Barr’s Policing Commission Undermines Community Trust and Violates Federal Law

Department of Justice
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 12, 2020

News Roundup: Georgia’s Disastrous Election, the Administration’s Alarming Protest Response, and Barr’s Troubling Tenure

Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - Office of Intelligence and Analysis, DHS - Transportation Security Administration, DHS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS - United States Secret Service, District of Columbia Mayor's Office, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, DOD - Defense Intelligence Agency, DOD - Department of the Air Force, DOD - National Guard Bureau, DOI - National Park Service, DOJ - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, DOJ - Civil Division, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Prisons, DOJ - Justice Management Division, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, DOJ - U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida - Miami-Dade County, Florida Department of State, Maryland - Baltimore Mayor's Office, Nevada Secretary of State, New Jersey Department of Human Services, New York City Department for the Aging, New York City Office of the Mayor, New York Police Department, New York State Department of Health, New York State Office for the Aging, North Carolina, North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina Senate, Ohio House of Representatives, Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio Senate, State Office of the Inspector General, Texas Secretary of State, United States Postal Service, White House - Office of Management and Budget, Wisconsin Elections Commission
June 11, 2020

In the Documents: Florida Health Department Efforts to Suppress Release of Coronavirus Records

Florida - Miami-Dade County
June 1, 2020

Tips for Filing Public Records Requests in Your State or City

May 29, 2020

News Roundup: A Somber Week After Memorial Day

Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, DHS - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DOD - Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, DOD - Department of the Army, DOD - National Security Agency, DOD - U.S. Department of the Navy, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation, DOJ - Office of Information Policy, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS - Food and Drug Administration, North Carolina Department of Health, North Carolina Office of the Governor, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, U.S. Agency for Global Media, Wisconsin - Brown County, Wisconsin - Dane County, Wisconsin - Milwaukee County, Wisconsin - Outagamie County, Wisconsin - Waukesha County, Wisconsin - Winnebago County
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 Personnel Management, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 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, White House - Office of Management and Budget, White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
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, Small Business Administration, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, United States Postal Service, White House - Office of Management and Budget, 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 the Director of National Intelligence, Treasury - Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Agency for International Development, White House - Office of Management and Budget
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, Texas Health and Human Services, USDA - Food Safety and Inspection Service, VA - Veterans Health Administration, Washington - King County, White House - Office of Management and Budget, White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
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, White House - Office of Management and Budget
April 17, 2020

News Roundup: Who Stands to Gain?

Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Reserve, Florida, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Florida Department of Health, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida Office of the Governor, Georgia - Tybee Island City, Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State, Small Business Administration, Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Senate, Wisconsin State Assembly
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
March 28, 2020

A Pandemic Is No Time for Secrecy

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 Personnel Management, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Tennessee Valley Authority, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Texas Secretary of State, White House - Office of Management and Budget, White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
March 24, 2020

We Cannot Let Trump Use a National Emergency to Get Rich and Ignore the Constitution

Congress, White House
March 20, 2020

News Roundup: Testing, Messaging and Missed Chances

Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, DOJ - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Federal Communications Commission, Florida Attorney General, Georgia Attorney General, Nevada Department of Administration, Texas - Harris County, Texas Attorney General, White House - Office of Management and Budget, White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
March 19, 2020

Three Years of American Oversight

March 17, 2020

The Increase in FOIA Lawsuits Isn’t the Problem — It’s Agencies Underfunding Their Transparency Obligations

Department of Justice
March 13, 2020

News Roundup: Continuing Our Investigation of Coronavirus Response

Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Federal Reserve, Georgia Secretary of State, Texas Secretary of State, Washington State Department of Health, Wisconsin
March 12, 2020

American Oversight Sues Trump, Kushner for Transparency in Clemency Process

Executive Office of the President, White House
March 10, 2020

New Lawsuit: The Trump Administration’s Dangerous Financial Deregulation

Department of the Treasury, Treasury - Comptroller of the Currency
February 21, 2020

When the Government Uses Redactions to Hide Evidence of Wrongdoing

Department of Defense, Department of Justice, White House - Office of Management and Budget
February 20, 2020

Records from Trump’s Presidential Pardons Advisory Committee Must Be Available to the Public

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, White House - Office of Management and Budget
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, Tennessee Valley Authority, Texas Attorney General, Texas Office of the Governor, Texas Secretary of State, Texas Senate, White House - Office of Management and Budget
January 7, 2020

Did the Trump Administration Abuse the Redactions Process?

Department of Defense, White House - Office of Management and Budget
December 11, 2019

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

Department of State, National Archives and Records Administration
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
June 6, 2018

USTR Emails Reveal Tensions, Inconsistencies in Trump Administration’s NAFTA Strategy

White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
December 20, 2017

American Oversight Expands Investigation into Tax Bill

Department of the Treasury, White House - Office of Management and Budget
November 30, 2017

New FOIAs Seek Treasury Department’s Secret Tax Bill Analyisis

Department of the Treasury
November 3, 2017

American Oversight Launches ‘NAFTA Watch’

Department of Commerce, White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
October 31, 2017

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

Department of State
July 19, 2017

American Oversight Demands Answers about Outsourcing of Carrier Jobs

Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury, White House - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
July 11, 2017

Investigation of Trump Administration Actions and the AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Department of Justice
June 16, 2017

Watchdog Group Files Lawsuit for Trump Border Wall Records

Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, DHS - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, White House - Office of Management and Budget
March 24, 2017

American Oversight Launches Investigation of President Trump’s Border Wall

Department of Homeland Security
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