CfA Sues Treasury Department for Failing to Release Records Related to Robert Mercer and Renaissance Technologies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 18, 2017
Contact: Daniel Stevens, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington DC against the Treasury Department to force the release of documents regarding Renaissance Technologies and its co-CEO, Robert Mercer. In March, CfA submitted a FOIA request seeking communications between Treasury officials and Mr. Mercer’s political allies, including current and former White House aides Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon.
CfA Executive Director Daniel Stevens said, “The Mercers, more than anyone else, can take credit for President Trump’s winning the White House. At the same time, Renaissance Technologies has been fighting the IRS’s effort to collect billions of dollars in taxes from the company. Americans deserve to know whether any government officials have tried to get the IRS to back off.”
In July 2014, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that a number of hedge funds, including Renaissance Technologies, allegedly tried to bypass taxes by converting short term gains into long-term profits through the use of “basket option contracts” created by Barclays and Deutsche Bank. The IRS reportedly has been seeking payment of more than $6 billion in back taxes from Renaissance as a result of its use of basket option contracts.
On March 21, 2017, CfA asked Treasury for copies of communications between the Department and several of Mr. Mercer’s political allies, some of whom work (or have worked) at the White House. Seven months later, Treasury has yet to provide a single record in response to CfA’s request, or even to state whether it will provide any documents or seek to withhold information based on statutory exemptions.
Robert Mercer has utilized his extensive personal wealth to the benefit of the careers of several White House aides, including Mr. Bannon, Ms. Conway, and David Bossie. Before joining the White House, Mr. Bannon served as Mr. Mercer’s political adviser and was a business partner, and Ms. Conway ran a super-PAC funded by Mr. Mercer and his family. Mr. Bossie served as the deputy campaign manager for President Trump and is the president of Citizens United, which has received substantial funding from the Mercer family.
Mr. Stevens continued, “President Trump is well-known for his transactional view of politics. The Treasury Department should release records to reveal whether and to what extent the president’s top political aides have intervened with Treasury officials to save their benefactor billions.”
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.