CREW is suing the State Department for documents about Donald Trump Jr.’s 2019 trip to Mongolia where he killed an endangered sheep and met with the Mongolian president. The public has a right to know about the State Department’s role in potentially facilitating contact between the former president’s son, a Republican donor, and a foreign head of state. We already know that this trip cost taxpayers upwards of $75,000, but additional records from the State Department would provide many needed answers.
In 2019, Donald Trump Jr. took a trip to Mongolia to hunt the endangered argali sheep. Accompanying him were five Secret Service bodyguards, the defense attache from the US embassy in Mongolia, and Republican political donor Kevin Small who also appears to have killed an argali sheep. Hunting argali sheep normally requires a specific permit, which Don Jr. was awarded retroactively by the Mongolian government. He also privately met with the Mongolian president in a separate meeting. The permit brings up the question of whether or not the Mongolians gave Don Jr. special treatment, potentially in an effort to curry favor with him and his father.
The records from the State Department would show the extent of communications between Don Jr. and the Mongolian government. Records mentioning Small would also indicate if a Republican donor was potentially able to buy access to the former president’s son or to a foreign head of state, and what the State Department’s role may have been in facilitating these connections. It is imperative that we fully grasp the scope of Don Jr’s foreign hunting trip and the role the State Department played, as it reveals details about the Trump family’s repeated use of the government to further personal interests during the past administration.
March 11, 2021