FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2019
Washington— Six government agencies failed to provide documents regarding efforts by Trump Administration officials, including Jared Kushner, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and businessman Thomas Barrack, to advance the so-called “Middle East Marshall Plan” to sell nuclear technology outside of the statutorily mandated process to Saudi Arabia, as well as documents pertaining to personnel decisions concerning career Department of State employees, according to a lawsuit filed today by Government Accountability Project. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is representing Government Accountability Project in the suit against the Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury, Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.
“Reports indicate that Michael Flynn and others were looking to transfer highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in order to reap the financial benefits and please former lobbying clients,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “The requested documents would provide additional details about whether Trump Administration officials were willing to undercut America’s interest for their own financial gain and whether they attempted to silence career officials who objected. CREW is proud to bring this lawsuit with Government Accountability Project in our joint pursuit of the truth.”
Government Accountability Project legal director Tom Devine added, “The public deserves the truth whether, how and who in the Administration was planning to cash in by selling the building blocks for nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia and other nations throughout the Mideast in flagrant violation of nonproliferation laws, rules, and regulations.”
Kushner, Flynn, and Barrack worked to push a proposal sponsored by International Peace Power and Prosperity (IP3), Flynn’s former employer, that would have transferred sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia outside of the process required by the Atomic Energy Act and its protections that ensure countries acquiring this technology will not use it to create nuclear weapons. Career officials at the National Security Council objected to the plan citing Flynn’s conflict of interest and the potential legal violations with rushing through a plan. Under the plan, IP3 would receive billions of dollars in government contracts. According to reports, Barrack, who led Trump’s inauguration committee, even considered buying a stake in a company that produces nuclear reactors in anticipation of the deal.
Government Accountability Project filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in August and September of 2018 for all relevant communications regarding the plan and efforts by the Trump Administration to reassign or remove whistleblowers who raised concerns. None of the six agencies has provided Government Accountability Project a single document.