The Campaign Legal Center Demands Transparency, Submits Series of FOIA Requests to Government Agencies

May 22, 2017

As the lawyers for America’s democracy, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) has been working in overdrive over the last few weeks to hold President Trump and his administration accountable for conflicts of interest and for false statements on voter fraud.

In order to hold any presidential administration accountable, we must gather all the facts. Official government activities must be transparent and that’s why CLC is submitting a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to various governmental agencies since Trump took office.


CLC FOIA Request Tracker

  • March 7, 2017: FOIA request sent to the U.S. Treasury requesting records pertaining to President Trump's pledge to donate profits earned in his hotels to the U.S. Treasury.

DETAILS: On Jan. 1, 2017, Trump's attorney Sheri Dillon stated that he is voluntarily donating all profits from foreign governments made to his hotels during his presidency to the U.S. Treasury. After news of high-profile foreign nationals visiting Trump properties this winter, CLC is checking to make sure that is happening.

UPDATE: On April 10, the U.S. Treasury replied to CLC's FOIA Request, saying that they have granted CLC's request for expedited processing and noting that the Trump Organization announced it would be making its first donations to the Treasury for profits obtained by the organization in 2018.

*Read our request

  • March 3, 2017: FOIA request sent to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting correspondence between President Trump's advisor Carl Icahn and the EPA.

DETAILS: As the majority owner of oil refiner CVR Energy Inc., Carl Icahn has pushed for changes in the Renewable Fuel   Standard Rules. CLC is seeking information about what communications Icahn might have had with the federal agency tasked with protecting the environment and regulating energy refiners.

*Read our request

  • February 28, 2017: FOIA request sent to the Bureau of Prisons and Office of Inspector General at the Department of Justice.

DETAILS: CLC requests records of documents that mention "Rebuilding America Now," a super PAC that supported Donald Trump, which received campaign contributions from GEO Group, one of America's largest private prison contractors. CLC submitted a FOIA Request to gather information about how the DOJ reached its conclusion to rescind the Aug. 18, 2016  memo about the phase-out of private prison contracts.

UPDATE: CLC sent a letter to the DOJ informing them that CLC intends to file suit seeking a court order that would require the government to stop its unlawful delay in complying with our FOIA Request.

*Read our request

  • February 16, 2017: FOIA request sent Office of Information Policy Department of Justice and Office of Public Affairs Department of Justice. 

    DETAILS: CLC requests records of communications to or from Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch during his tenure as Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), during George W. Bush’s voter fraud investigation, which resulted in the politically motivated firings of several DOJ attorneys.

    UPDATE: While our request for expedited process was granted on February 28, we still have not received a full answer to our request. The department did not release all the documents and also have not provided CLC with the requested index of which documents were withheld based on privilege and exemptions from the FOIA requirements. Read more.

    *Read our request
  • February 16, 2017: FOIA request sent to Election Assistance Commission, the Office of Legal Counsel Department of Justice, and the Office of Management and Budget.

    DETAILS: CLC requests records pertaining to the Election Assistance Commission (“EAC”), including recent proposals to eliminate the Commission and requests that the EAC alter the federal voter registration form to allow for documentary-proof-of-citizenship voter registration requirements.

    *Read our request
  • February 15, 2017: FOIA request sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Legal Counsel Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Department of Justice, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Department of Justice.

    DETAILS: CLC requests records pertaining to the writings and communications regarding President Trump’s allegations of widespread voter fraud, his proposal for “a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and …. even, those who registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)”, and his proposals to “strengthen up voter procedures.”

    UPDATE: On April 14, CLC received a reply from the OMB saying that there were no records identified related to these allegations.

    *Read our request
  • February 15, 2017: FOIA request sent to Office of Legal Counsel Department of Justice, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Office of Government Ethics.

    DETAILS: On February 9, speaking from the White House briefing room, President Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway used an interview with Fox News to promote the business of the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump: copies of all following digital and physical records encompassing all training or education materials regarding all correspondence pertaining to Kellyanne Conway’s endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s brand (excluding correspondence received from the general public); all records pertaining to the counseling provided to Kellyanne Conway or other executive branch employees who may violate or have violated ethics rules.

    DETAILS: On March 10, CLC received a response to the FOIA request. CLC received 225 pages of documents from the OGE which includes details of conversations between the White House and OGE about Conway's ethics issue and what actions they were taking to address it. Read our blog on the timeline of events.

    *Read our request

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