Under the Freedom of Information Act, CREW requests:

  1. Copies of all prepared remarks used by Secretary Wilbur Ross at the National Mining Association meeting at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C. on October 3, 2017; an
  2. Copies of all documents received by Secretary Ross and/or his staff during the October 3, 2017 National Mining Association meeting at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C.; and
  3. Copies of all documents describing the attendees at the October 3, 2017 National Mining Association meeting at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C., the agenda of the meeting, and/or any planned follow up actions by the Commerce Department; and
  4. Copies of all photos and/or video from the October 3, 2017 National Mining Association meeting at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C.; and
  5. Copies of all records documenting payments made by the Commerce Department to the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C., in relation to Secretary Ross’s October 3, 2017 address to the National Mining Association at the Trump hotel as well as all records seeking reimbursement for expenses incurred at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C.; and
  6. Copies of all communications to or from Secretary Ross that mention or relate to his October 3, 2017 appearance at the National Mining Association meeting held at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C.

On the morning of October 3, 2017, Secretary Ross headlined a general session during a meeting of the National Mining Association’s board of directors at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C. The National Mining Association is a trade association representing the coal and mineral industries.In 2017 so far, the National Mining Association has reported spending more than $950,000 on federal lobbying, which includes a focus on the Commerce Department.

The requested records would shed light on what Secretary Ross discussed with the mining executives at the National Mining Association and increase public knowledge about how the Commerce Department communicates with industry stakeholders in private about public policy. In addition, since President Trump has refused to divest from his private business interests, ethics experts and lawmakers have raised concerns about taxpayer funds being used at his private businesses, particularly in light of President Trump’s frequent trips to his for-profit properties. The requested records would shed light on whether Commerce Department funds were used to pay for any part of Secretary Ross’s visit to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC and whether any taxpayer funds ended up in the coffers of the president’s private business.

2017-10-11 FOIA REQUEST