Newly launched in 2017, the Executive Conflicts & Ethics project works to shed light on Executive Branch financial entanglements and conflicts of interest. Working with investigative journalists and government watchdogs, the Clinic pursues FOIA litigation, unseals court records, and undertakes related research to bring greater transparency to the financial dealings of officials in the Executive Branch and federal regulatory agencies. The Clinic and its partners seek to expose financial ties, conflicts of interest, and other information vital to hold government officials accountable.
The Clinic is currently representing Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Russ Buettner at the New York Times in his effort to obtain information about the role of the governor and his office in ceding about $25 million in back taxes to the Trump Organization.
MFIA represents Eric Lipton, an award-winning investigative reporter in The New York Times' D.C. Bureau, and The New York Times Company in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking the regular disclosure of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's detailed daily schedule in the agency's electronic "reading room." Administrator Pruitt's calendar is a critical tool for journalists like Lipton to keep track of who has the ear of the EPA head and to assess potential conflicts of interest.
The Clinic represents Richard Behar, Contributing Editor of Investigations at Forbes Magazine, in federal litigation over his FOIA request for Secret Service records. The records at issue catalogue visitors to Donald Trump and high-level campaign officials during the campaign and transition periods.
Vogel v. Department of Justice (NYT FARA FOIA) The Clinic represents the New York Times and reporter Ken Vogel in an effort to obtain the release of Department of Justice records related to investigations into the lobbying activities of people with ties to the Trump administration and Trump campaign.