Washington, DC January 25, 2019 – Nonpartisan ethics watchdog American Oversight today launched a campaign soliciting tips from federal workers to identify government records showing evidence of misconduct or corruption. American Oversight will use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to force the release of the documents.
“What we know about the Trump administration is just the tip of the corruption iceberg. We’re calling on concerned public employees to help us uncover more, legally and legitimately,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “You don’t need to leak files to expose corruption; you can just tell us what to FOIA and where to find it, and we can do the rest.”
American Oversight’s “Tell Us What to FOIA” campaign comes on the 35th day of the government shutdown. As the White House and Congress remain at an impasse over President Trump’s demand for billions of dollars of funding for a border wall, hundreds of thousands of federal workers missed their second paycheck.
American Oversight has been investigating misconduct, conflicts of interest, and corruption in the Trump administration since 2017, and has used FOIA to uncover details about former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s industry-heavy calendar and secret phone booth, Ivanka Trump’s extensive use of personal email, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ vacation schedule, HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s role in selecting a pricy dining set, and dozens of unqualified political appointees across the government.
The watchdog group is seeking tips from federal employees who may be aware of other examples of corruption, misconduct, or political patronage. Details including names of documents, keywords, specific people or offices involved, or dates of emails can help American Oversight craft targeted FOIA requests to uncover evidence of misconduct.
American Oversight launched a new webpage on Friday – AmericanOversight.org/whattofoia – and will be running targeted advertising on Facebook and Twitter in the Washington, DC area.
Federal employees – or anyone who can share information about misconduct or corruption in the Trump administration – can contact American Oversight at AmericanOversight.org/whattofoia.