Groups Press Discovery Fight with White House, Allege Administration Shielding Potential Self-Dealing by Trump, Kushner Cronies on Infrastructure

New Legal Filings Follow Rare Victory Forcing White House to Reveal 13 Unreported Meetings Between Administration, Financially-Conflicted Real Estate Developers

 

Washington, DC — In new legal filings submitted on behalf of Food & Water Watch, Democracy Forward alleged the Trump Administration is continuing to illegally shield the work of President Trump’s “Infrastructure Council,” which was led by financially-conflicted business associates of President Trump and Jared Kushner.

The new filings come after a federal judge required the Administration to answer questions under oath about the now-defunct Council’s activities, forcing the White House to admit there were 13 meetings of these wealthy White House associates, including with high level officials. However, the Administration refused to fully answer questions required by the court.

“We can now see how instead of rebuilding America’s infrastructure, President Trump secretly outsourced infrastructure policy to a group of his financial-conflicted friends and business associates,” said Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy. “Now the Administration is trying to cover it up.”

The timing and frequency of the newly disclosed meetings raises significant concerns about potential self-dealing by Jared Kushner and members of President Trump’s Infrastructure Council. While the Council held multiple meetings with the White House, the Trump Administration took actions that stood to benefit Council members financially, including:

  • Approved a controversial water pipeline project in which a Council member’s firm invested up to $300 million. The firm later provided a $184-million refinancing loan to Kushner Companies;

  • Gutting pipeline safety rules that were cited as financial risks to a company owned by a Council member’s private equity firm.

“Through this litigation, we’re learning that Trump is treating the government and our critical public infrastructure like one of his many failed business ventures,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “The cronyism, unpaid debt, abandoned projects, bankruptcy and fraud, all of which have defined Trump’s corrupt business dealings, are not the approaches we need to properly safeguard clean drinking water for all Americans.”

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law.

Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.

Press Contact:

Charisma Troiano
(202) 701-1781
ctroiano@democracyforward.org

Darcey Rakestraw
(202) 683-2467
drakestraw@fwwatch.org

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