A veterans advocacy group brought a federal lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] Thursday related to unofficial or undisclosed meetings held at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort by a group focused on crafting Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) policy.
The complaint alleges that Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, attorney Marck Sherman and Dr. Bruce Moskowitz have held more than 20 meetings regarding work of the VA, a violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act [text], which requires that advisors to policymakers be disclosed.
“President Trump and his Administration have made a practice of outsourcing decision-making on key issues of policy and government administration to private individuals, especially those who have business or social relationships with the President,” plaintiff VoteVets Action Fund writes in the complaint.
“These individuals have influenced, shaped, and dictated personnel and policy decisions made by the Administration … without being subjected to transparency requirements, conflict-of-interest screens, and other accountability rules required of public servants.”
In a joint response [statement, PDF], Perlmutter, Sherman and Moskowitz downplayed their roles, writing that they “did not make or implement any type of policy, possess any authority over agency decisions, or direct government officials to take any actions.”