Complaint: Interior Department Won’t Release Documents On Potential Ethics Violations At Secretary Haaland’s Wedding
- April 15, 2022
Tristan Justice, The Federalist
The Interior Department is faced with a new lawsuit over its refusal to comply with a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) probing potential government ethics violations surrounding Secretary Deb Haaland’s August wedding.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday by the government-transparency group Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), seeks to compel records requested by FOIA days after the event to examine whether improper gifts or influence peddling took place over the ceremony. According to the complaint, the Department of the Interior dismissed the group’s inquiries four times when following up on the request now submitted more than 220 days ago.
“Considering the potential for those who might be inclined to use Secretary Haaland’s wedding for improper purposes, the Department should have been on heightened alert to any situation that may have presented possible ethics quandaries,” said Michael Chamberlain, the director of Protect the Public’s Trust. “Their responses to these FOIA requests hardly demonstrate any such commitment.”