November 3, 2019
CREW requested records from the Office of Government Ethics on communications that mention the “The 45 Alliance.”
A media outlet recently reported that The 45 Alliance invited Trump appointees to a cocktail reception at Trump International Hotel, a hotel owned by President Trump that leases a government building from the General Services Administration. While The 45 Alliance itself does not disclose donors, publicly accessible Federal Election Commission filings disclosed a $75,000 donation from the Republican National Committee. Tax returns from “pro-Trump dark money group America First Policies” also disclosed a donation of $150,000 to The 45 Alliance for “issue support.” Since the group claims to focus on supporting Executive Branch appointees during their public service and not engage in political activity, any “issue support” or political advocacy suggests that The 45 Alliance may be a prohibited source for gifts to White House appointees.
Already, two former Trump appointees who are under subject to post-employment ethics restrictions have been identified as members of The 45 Alliance’s board.
The requested documents could reveal whether representatives of this organization, the White House Counsel’s office, Trump appointees, or other individuals sought ethics advice related to any benefits or gifts The 45 Alliance may have provided Trump appointees, especially on attending the Trump Hotel cocktail reception. The public has a strong interest in these communications because of the many ethical questions that have been raised by current and former administration appointees’ activities, including compliance with ethics rules.
Read the request here.