OTG’s Executive Director Applauds Congress for Protecting the Public’s Right to Know About the Results of the Mueller Investigation

April 26, 2018 -- Open the Government Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg, commends the Senate Judiciary Committee for supporting an amendment that significantly advances transparency and accountability for the Robert Mueller investigation. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee debated and passed the bipartisan Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, a bill to protect special counsels from undue firing. The legislation included an amendment introduced by Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that requires the Justice Department to provide a report to Congress if a special counsel is removed, or when the investigation is concluded. Without such a provision, openness advocates warn, the final results of the Mueller probe might never see the light of day.

OTG Supports the Special Counsel Transparency Act of 2018 to Ensure the Results of Mueller’s Investigation are Preserved and Shared with Congress

April 17, 2018 -- Open the Government expressed support for the Special Counsel Transparency Act of 2018, which was introduced today in the House of Representatives by Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) The bill seeks to preserve the work of the Justice Department’s investigation into the 2016 election, in the event the Trump Administration dismisses Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Citing Gina Haspel’s Role in Destruction of Torture Videos, OTG Leads Joint Letter Calling on Senate to Halt Her Nomination

Open the Government led a coalition that signed a joint letter today calling on the Senate not to advance Gina Haspel’s nomination as CIA Director until all records of her past involvement in a CIA torture program are declassified and released to the public. OTG is particularly concerned that Haspel participated in the destruction of video evidence of her role overseeing a clandestine detention site in Thailand that tortured detainees. The letter cited Haspel’s “concerted effort to escape embarrassment and legal consequences” by eliminating video proof of waterboarding, slamming detainees against walls, enforced sleeplessness, and confinement inside coffin-shaped boxes.

In Sunshine Week Declaration Condemning Threats to Openness, Coalition Warns that Laws and Norms Protecting Open Government are Being Eclipsed

A coalition of leading organizations that fight for transparency and openness in government released a powerful declaration today warning Americans about escalating attacks on the public’s right to know. The organizations shared the statement, A Condemnation of Threats to Openness, Ethics and Accountability, with the White House and Members of Congress on the first weekday of Sunshine Week (March 11 – 17), to demonstrate how laws and norms that ensure Americans have access to information on their government are being eroded and eclipsed by a growing culture of secrecy in Washington.

Politically Diverse Organizations Call for Reforms to Reduce Government Secrecy Following Nunes Memo

Organizations across the political spectrum called on Congress today to adopt key measures to reduce secrecy and create more accountability in government. A joint letter was sent to Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, recommending meaningful reforms to our intelligence services that would further protect civil liberties and privacy rights.

Open the Government's 2017 Year End Report

As we look back to the successes we had in 2017, we are inspired to continue our fight for a transparent and accountable government, creating a more informed electorate that can demand respect for and adherence to democratic fundamentals.

OTG’s Executive Director Condemns Reported Trump Decision to Keep Guantanamo Prison Open

Open the Government Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg, condemned the Trump Administration’s shortsighted decision to sign an Executive Order reversing Barack Obama’s policy to close the Guantanamo facility “as soon as practicable.” Politico reports “Trump is expected to announce plans to sign the order during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, or in the days before or after the address.”

Nunes Alleges FISA Abuse in Secret Memo; Yet he and Others Voted for Reauthorization of the Most Unregulated Area of the Law Without Protections for Americans

Open the Government Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg, says that a new secret memo by Rep. Devin Nunes, (R-CA) that claims the Obama Administration abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to target Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, raises serious questions about why lawmakers voted last week for reauthorization immediately after rejecting an amendment to fix the parts of the law most subject to misuse and interference with Americans’ privacy.