A super-hero watchdog group just catapulted onto the scene. Given the lies and misdirection attempts flowing out of the Donald Trump White House and the Republican-led Congress’ inaction, the country desperately needs this organization. So who are these new people?
A group of attorneys created American Oversight to hunt down waste, fraud, corruption, and wrongdoing. It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in spite of some members being deeply linked to the Democratic party. Among its goals is to obtain documents via public record requests and lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and prevent the destruction of documents.
According to USA Today, a former State Department lawyer for President Obama and Executive Director of American Oversight, Austin Evers said:
‘We were very troubled to see in the wake of the election all the red flags going up about how this executive branch was going to be run, and how Congress was reacting, which was essentially to put its head in the sand or only act when really forced to do so over egregious matters.’
Evers continued, saying the group would follow corruption and ill-spent monies:
‘So we’re going to be using the tools available to citizens to extract information about corruption, about how money’s being misspent, about how rules aren’t being followed and publicize it so at minimum, voters can hold their government accountable.’
Although there are many watchdog groups in D.C., they generally focus their attention on the White House and Congress. American Oversight is going after federal agencies led by secretaries without any real experience. It is also dipping into thousands of mid and lower level employees and appointees.
Monday, American Oversight sent Attorney General Jeff Session and chief archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration David Ferriero letters. USA Today reported that they requested each investigate:
‘Administration officials and career government employees are using encrypted apps and other methods to conduct official business that violate the Presidential Records and Federal Records acts.’
USA Today reported the letters stated:
‘Instead of waiting months or years to remedy this problem, NARA should act today to ensure that problems are curtailed as soon as possible. We call on you to investigate potential violations of law occurring across the executive branch, to ensure that all records reflecting official government business are properly preserved and to report your findings to Congress so that the public can have confidence that the administration is not shirking accountability by hiding its records.’
American Oversight intends to give the Donald Trump administration no relief.
Feature Image via Twitter/The Root. Image has been modified from its original form.