May 22, 2018
Plum Island is a U.S.-government owned island located in the Long Island Sound, between Connecticut and the north fork of Long Island, New York and is operated jointly by GSA and DHS. The 840-acre island has served as a site for government labs and facilities and it also has roadways, utilities, a lighthouse, a harbor and several acres of undeveloped natural land and wildlife habitat. In 2008, Congress passed the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009, which called for sale of the land and for a DHS facility on the island to be transferred to Manhattan, Kansas.
The pending sale of the island became a contentious issue for residents, developers, environmental advocates, and politicians in both Connecticut and New York. Environmentalists and local lawmakers sought to preserve the pristine nature of the island while real estate developers, including representatives of the Trump Organization, positioned themselves to purchase the island.
According to press reports, Donald Trump was interested in buying the island to build a resort and golf course there as far back as 2013. In 2017, the U.S. approved a bill to temporarily block the sale of the island in 2017, however the island is still scheduled to be sold and its future is uncertain. After the 2016 election, local residents feared that Mr. Trump would use his power as president to enable the sale of the property.
CREW requests records that will shed light on the president’s interest in Plum Island and the extent to which he has used his official position to implement policy decisions that would benefit his personal business interests.