Following the Treasury Department’s failure to respond to CREW’s request, CREW is suing Treasury for costs of Steve Mnuchin’s trips to the Middle East and any communications between Mnuchin and sovereign wealth funds.

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Cabinet officials shouldn’t be using their positions to set up future opportunities for profit, but former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin may have done exactly that. Mnuchin’s frequent visits to the Middle East while serving in the Trump administration demand serious scrutiny given a recent Washington Post report that he is “planning to start an investment fund that is expected to raise money from sovereign wealth funds in the Persian Gulf region.” 

CREW has requested all communications, calendar entries, and meeting records during the Trump administration between Mnuchin and Middle East sovereign wealth funds. CREW also requests records detailing how much Mnuchin’s taxpayer-funded trips to the Middle East cost, including the costs of travel, security, accommodations, food, and beverages.

Mnuchin frequently traveled to the Middle East as Treasury Secretary, with trips as recently as January 2021 and October 2020. His recently revealed post-administration investment efforts put into question the Trump administration’s relationship with countries in the Middle East and also what role Mnuchin’s future pursuits might have played in shaping it. The public deserves to know what type of contact Mnuchin had with Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds, whether undue foreign influence or the possibility of future profits might have affected his decisions as Treasury Secretary, and how many taxpayer dollars have gone to funding his trips to the Middle East.

FOIA request

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