Launched in March 2017, American Oversight (AO) is a Washington-based 501(c)(3) judicial-activist and litigation organization that describes itself as “a non-partisan, nonprofit ethics watchdog” and “the top Freedom Of Information Act [FOIA] litigator investigating the Trump administration.” “From President Trump’s failure to divest from his business empire to cabinet secretaries using their taxpayer-funded positions for their personal benefit,” said AO in 2018, “the Trump administration has been plagued by scandal, misconduct, and conflicts of interest.” By the end of that year, AO had filed more than 60 public-records lawsuits against Trump and his allies – suits designed to “uncover misconduct that otherwise would not see daylight” and to “harness the independent power of the courts to force the administration to obey the law.” Moreover, AO had filed more than 100 targeted FOIA requests “seeking documents likely to be investigated” by a House of Representatives that, for the first time in eight years, had fallen into Democrat control in the November 2018 midterm elections.
In 2018, AO was particularly active in opposing the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. That July, AO joined the judicial-activist group Fix The Court in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department seeking documents from Kavanaugh’s tenure as a White House Staff Secretary during the George W. Bush Administration.
For a comprehensive list of the many investigations which AO has launched against President Trump and his administration, click here.
AO’s personnel consists entirely of committed Democrat activists, attorneys, strategists, and political operatives, many of whom have close ties to the Party’s most powerful figures and to organizations that promote all manner of Democrat agendas. Below is a list of some of AO’s key players during 2017-18:
AO Board Member Caroline Fredrickson also serves as the current President of the American Constitution Society. She previously was the Chief of Staff to Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell; the Deputy Chief of Staff to Democratic Senator Tom Daschle; the Director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office; and the General Counsel to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Another AO Board Member, Kyle Herrig, is the Director of Research and Strategic Communications at the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that took in $358 million in 2016 and has funneled millions of dollars to left-wing advocacy groups like Media Matters for America and the Center for American Progress.
Further Reading: AmericanOversight.org (“About [AO]“; “[American Oversight’s] Board“); “The Trump ‘Ethics’ Resistance” (by Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal, 12-28-2018); “American Oversight” (InfluenceWatch.org); “The Left’s Judicial Watch Knockoffs Targeting Trump” (Capital Research Center, 12-28-2018).