The American Civil Liberties Union has taken legal action to obtain government documents that may show President-elect Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest, the national organization said Friday.
The ACLU, a non-profit civil rights group, outlined its plan to challenge the incoming president’s policies and administration, which includes filing a Freedom of Information Act request to get government agencies that specifically handle ethics and law to provide all documents relating to Trump’s business connections.
Documents include legal opinions, memoranda, advisories and communications, filed between Election Day and Trump’s official inauguration, from agencies that include the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and the Office of Government Ethics. The ACLU is also seeking to obtain emails to and from the presidential transition team.
“We are bringing this first legal action using the Freedom of Information Act to underscore the fact that President Trump is not above the law,” Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said in a statement. “Freedom of information requests are our democracy’s X-ray, and they will be vitally important to expose and curb the abuses of a president who believes the rules don’t apply to him and his family.”
Part of the ACLU’s plan over the next four years is to beef up its staff by adding up to 100 full-time employees across the country. The group said the nearly 400,000 donations it received since Nov. 8 will help with its mission.
The ACLU revealed its outline in tackling Trump's administration hours before Trump was set to be inaugurated.
At a highly anticipated news conference last week, Trump said he has relinquished control of his business empire to his two sons and has moved all assets into a trust to avoid having potential conflicts of interest.