Under the Freedom Of Information Act, CREW requests:

  1. Copies of all prepared remarks used by Secretary Alexander Acosta at the National Mining Association meeting at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C. on October 3, 2017; and
  2. Copies of all documents received by Secretary Acosta 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 DOL; 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 DOL to the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C., in relation to Secretary Acosta’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 Acosta 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 afternoon of October 3, 2017, Secretary Acosta spoke at a lunch with members of the National Mining Association during a meeting of the trade association’s board of directors at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, D.C., which is still majority owned by President Trump through a revocable trust.According to the Washington Post, the lunch was “sponsored by Jennmar Corp. and Royal Gold, a mining-equipment maker and precious metals company, respectively.”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. In the past, National Mining Association lobbying has included a focus on DOL, and the trade association has shown a continued interest in DOL policy. As the Washington Post noted, “In September, for example, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, an agency in the Labor Department, proposed relaxing rules for inspections at mines for salt and other materials. At the time, NMA praised the decision as ‘a step in the right direction.’”

The requested records would shed light on what Secretary Acosta discussed with the mining executives at the National Mining Association and increase public knowledge about how DOL 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 DOL funds were used to pay for any part of Secretary Acosta’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