On October 4, 2016, Campaign for Accountability called on the White House to develop a more robust ethics program in light of the numerous meetings between former Google executives who became White House officials and their former colleagues. The timing and frequency of these meetings suggest the White House officials may have violated President Obama’s revolving door ban. CfA also raised concerns with the level of communication and apparent coordination between the White House internet adviser and Google, particularly surrounding the FTC’s decision not to bring antitrust charges against the company.
On September 30, 2016, Campaign for Accountability called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to improve its ethics enforcement program. Documents published by the Google Transparency Project reveal that top NHTSA officials were in frequent contact with Google executives while working on federal guidelines for self-driving cars.
CfA Request for Investigation into FBI Leak of Confidential Information from Clinton Email Investigation
On September 13, 2016, Campaign for Accountability called on the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate leaks by the FBI regarding the identity of Paul Combetta, a witness in the investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address.
On August 30, 2016, Campaign for Accountability filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section requesting an investigation of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for filing apparently inaccurate financial disclosure reports for 2015 and 2016. On September 15, 2016, Campaign for Accountability sent a second letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting an investigation of Donald Trump for failing to accurately disclose his finances in connection with his presidential campaign.
On June 8, 2016, CfA filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Justice to release opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The OLC serves as legal advisor for the federal government, issuing opinions on the meaning of laws that are immensely consequential. Some have been used to justify controversial policies such as extraordinary rendition, torture, and the killing of Americans abroad. The Justice Department does not prosecute individuals whose actions are justified by OLC opinions, even if those actions are later determined illegal.
On March 22, 2016, CfA requested that OLC fulfill its legal obligations by publishing its opinions. Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Bies responded to CfA’s request in May, stating that OLC has the discretion to decide on an individualized, case-by-case basis, whether to publish its opinions. Given OLC’s hard and fast position, CfA filed suit in the District Court for the District of Columbia to compel OLC and DOJ to comply with their legal obligations under the FOIA.
On October 6, 2017, United States District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson issued an opinion in the case explaining her reasons for dismissing CfA's complaint but inviting CfA to file an amended complaint. On October 27, 2017, CfA filed an amended complaint.
On July 7, 2016, Campaign for Accountability joined a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress and 2016 congressional candidates in filing a complaint before the Federal Election Commission seeking to end super PAC spending in US elections.
On May 9, 2016, Campaign for Accountability called on Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to investigate former Johnson County Election Commissioner Brian Newby for flagrantly violating Kansas criminal law by submitting false expenses, misusing public funds, and conspiring to cover up his conduct.
On April 5, 2016, Campaign for Accountability called on the Department of Defense’s Inspector General to investigate Secretary Ashton Carter for the misuse of his private email account.
On March 16, 2016, Campaign for Accountability asked Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to investigate State Rep. Ken Ivory (R-West Jordan) for obstructing justice by lying to state investigators and for misusing official resources to promote a nonprofit he started, the American Lands Council (ALC).