Lawsuit Challenges the Secrecy of White House Advisers on Infrastructure

In Conflict of Interest, Judiciary and Courts On
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A nonprofit group filed suit against President Trump on Tuesday, claiming that he illegally convened an advisory council to develop a plan to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure without the required public disclosures.

The lawsuit by Food and Water Watch, filed in Federal District Court in Washington, also names Elaine Chao, the secretary of transportation, and Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce. It charges that the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a law that mandates public notice of an advisory panel’s members and meetings, has been skirted by the administration.

Days before his inauguration, the president announced that he was naming the real estate developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth to lead the infrastructure group. He has since added two people from the world of private equity: Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo Global Management, and William E. Ford, the chief executive of General Atlantic. But while Mr. Trump has solicited policy advice from the infrastructure council, the group was not formally established by the White House until last week.

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