July 3, 2019

Following reports that Phantom Fireworks CEO Bruce Zoldan both donated $750,000 dollars worth of fireworks to President Trump’s Fourth of July celebration and successfully lobbied the president to not implement tariffs that could negatively impact his business, CREW requested documents from the Interior Department to establish how the donation came about and details about Interior’s use of its gift acceptance authority. 

The combination of Zoldan’s lobbying and donation raises significant ethics concerns. These records would shed light on how the donation was arranged, to what degree the White House may have played a role in the donation and whether DOI followed appropriate procedures to accept the gift. Typically, agencies reject gifts that might create a conflict of interest. 

Read CREW’s request here.