Advocacy groups form coalition to urge whistleblowers to expose election interference

This article features Government Accountability Project and our Democracy Protection Initiative and was originally published here.

An organization called the Government Accountability Project says it has partnered with more than 20 advocacy groups to encourage whistleblowers reporting election interference to go public with their findings,  promising to provide them pro bono legal representation in return.

Called the Democracy Protection Initiative, the program aims to attract federal employees and state and local election workers to provide information about foreign and domestic threats to the upcoming election.

“Whistleblowers are proving to be a valuable, effective and necessary antidote to secret corruption on behalf of all of us citizens who seek assurance that our vote will count, our leaders will not improperly or illegally subvert the agencies of government for political advantage, and there will be an orderly and just transition of power should that be the voting will of the people,” said Louis Clark, Government Accountability Project executive director, in a statement. “In exchange for their courageous public service, whistleblowers deserve protection and the unqualified guarantee that we as a society will address their verified concerns.”

Alongside the Government Accountability Project, partner organizations include the American Constitution Society, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, among many others.

Together, they intend to provide full-service representation for whistleblowers including making Freedom of Information Act requests, filing whistleblower disclosures to oversight agencies, helping conduct investigations and leading congressional and media advocacy efforts.

“The Trump administration has taken the politicization of normally nonpartisan government functions to new levels, and we have every reason to believe this pattern is repeating itself in places we don’t yet know about; whistleblowers are more important now than ever to help expose this dangerous politicization,” said Noah Bookbinder, CREW executive director, in a statement. “Civil servants stepping up to protect our democracy should know that they can do so safely, and CREW is proud to partner with Government Accountability Project to ensure that they can.”

The groups said the list of potential abuses they anticipate possibly upending next month’s election includes, “suppressing intelligence related to foreign interference in elections, politicization of the Department of Justice, deploying federal law enforcement agents to intimidate voters, interference in mail delivery by the US Postal Service, and the spread of disinformation about voter fraud.”

The Government Accountability Project is actively recruiting additional pro bono attorneys and advocacy groups to assist in its election-related whistleblowing initiative.