We partnered with Food & Water Watch to file a lawsuit against the Office of American Innovation (OAI) for attempting to skirt federal transparency laws as OAI takes a prominent role in shaping the Trump Administration’s infrastructure policy. By avoiding disclosure requirements, the Jared-Kushner-led entity prevents the public from seeing critical information, including information that would reveal whether OAI’s policy-making was improperly influenced by the Administration’s conflicts of interest.
Since its formation in March 2017, OAI has played a major role in crafting President Trump’s infrastructure plan, building on advice given by the President’s disbanded Infrastructure Council, which also had been operating in violation of federal transparency laws. The foundation of the Administration’s infrastructure proposal is based on an undisclosed 70-page set of “ principles” compiled by OAI. Despite the extensive potential conflicts of its senior officials, OAI has also held closed-door negotiations with private business interests. The wide-ranging powers exercised by OAI require it adhere to the Freedom of Information Act requirement that agencies comply with public requests for information. To date, OAI has refused to acknowledge such requests, let alone produce documents in response.
The suit is part of the groups’ Infrastructure Accountability Initiative, a series of actions designed to hold the Trump Administration accountable for an infrastructure plan that is poised to enrich President Trump’s inner circle.