(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Case Study

Democracy Forward Foundation v. Dept. of Commerce–Private Emails

To Investigate Risk of Cronyism In Trump’s Infrastructure Plans, Democracy Forward Seeks Release Of Wilbur Ross’ Personal Emails

Demanding Trump Administration Reveal Details Surrounding Whether Ross Used Personal Email

We filed suit against the Department of Commerce after the Trump Administration refused to reveal whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used his personal email account to discuss the development of President Trump’s infrastructure proposal with his private business associates and financially conflicted friends.

According to recent reports, President Trump’s infrastructure plan could allow the Department of Commerce to hand-pick projects that will receive millions of dollars in federal funding as chair of the plan’s “Transformative Projects Program.” Ross’ involvement in the Administration’s infrastructure push is rife with possible financial conflicts. As of late last year, for example, the Secretary had yet to divest from Navigator Holdings, an international shipping firm with ties to Vladimir Putin.  Private companies in industries connected to infrastructure, like those held by Navigator, stand to benefit from the President’s infrastructure policies.

Part of Democracy Forward’s recently announced Infrastructure Accountability Initiative, this case is one in a series of actions designed to hold the Trump Administration accountable for an infrastructure plan that is a blueprint for cronyism, threatening to enrich Trump’s friends at the expense of the American people.

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

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