Person

Austin Evers

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Attorney

Executive Director, American Oversight

Austin Evers is the Founder and Executive Director of American Oversight, an organization targeting right-of-center interests and causes through open records requests. [1] He founded the organization in an effort to target the Trump administration. [2]

Evers, then a State Department attorney, was involved in a controversy during Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal due to his association with the law firm Clinton retained as counsel at the time and also his lack of experience handling Freedom of Information Act requests.

Career

Evers founded American Oversight in 2017[3] as a response to the election of President Donald Trump. [4] Interested in targeting President Trump and his administration, he expressed concern that no watchdogs were in place that “planned to be antagonistic toward the administration,” leading him to create American Oversight. [5]

Before founding American Oversight, he was a government attorney serving as senior counsel to the State Department during the Obama administration. [6] Evers’ work focused on transparency and oversight related matters. [7] He also worked on the Benghazi investigation and the Hillary Clinton email investigation. [8]

Earlier in his career, he was a litigator at Williams & Connolly LLP, a prominent law firm based in Washington, D.C. He also clerked for the Federal District Court of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. [9] Evers graduated summa cum laude from Boston College Law School. [10]

Controversy

While Evers served as an attorney at the Department of State, he and a colleague were entangled in a controversy surrounding Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) requests while investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for government business. [11] Both Evers and his colleague had no previous experience handling FIOA requests and also previously worked at Williams & Connolly, the same firm that Hillary Clinton hired to represent her during the scandal. [12]

Then-House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) questioned both the State Department’s process citing Evers and his colleague’s lack of FIOA experience[13] and also noted that their participation in the investigation could be a conflict of interest given their past connection to Clinton’s counsel at the time. [14] In a letter written to the State Department’s inspector general, Goodlatte wrote “at the very least, this suspect arrangement raises questions about the State Department hiring process,” but “at worst, it suggests willful obstruction by handpicked Clinton associates at the State Department on behalf of former Secretary Clinton, to ensure damaging or incriminating documents never saw the light of day.” [15]

Political Donations

Evers has been a financial supporter of Democratic and liberal candidates since 2008. He contributed to President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaigns, as well as campaigns of former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), and U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY). [16]

References

  1. “About American Oversight.” American Oversight. Accessed September 29, 2019. https://www.americanoversight.org/about. ^
  2. Ram, Sarika. “Requester’s Voice: American Oversight’s Austin Evers.” MuckRock, June 27, 2018. https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2018/jun/27/requesters-voice-austin-evers/ ^
  3. “About American Oversight.” American Oversight. Accessed September 29, 2019. https://www.americanoversight.org/about. ^
  4. Ram, Sarika. “Requester’s Voice: American Oversight’s Austin Evers.” MuckRock, June 27, 2018. https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2018/jun/27/requesters-voice-austin-evers/. ^
  5. Ram, Sarika. “Requester’s Voice: American Oversight’s Austin Evers.” MuckRock, June 27, 2018. https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2018/jun/27/requesters-voice-austin-evers/. ^
  6. Ram, Sarika. “Requester’s Voice: American Oversight’s Austin Evers.” MuckRock, June 27, 2018. https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2018/jun/27/requesters-voice-austin-evers/. ^
  7. “About American Oversight.” American Oversight. Accessed September 29, 2019. https://www.americanoversight.org/about. ^
  8. Ram, Sarika. “Requester’s Voice: American Oversight’s Austin Evers.” MuckRock, June 27, 2018. https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2018/jun/27/requesters-voice-austin-evers/. ^
  9. “About American Oversight.” American Oversight. Accessed September 29, 2019.  https://www.americanoversight.org/about. ^
  10. “About American Oversight.” American Oversight. Accessed September 29, 2019. https://www.americanoversight.org/about. ^
  11. Westwood, Sarah. “State Dept. Hired Lawyers from Clinton’s Law Firm to Handle Emails.” Washington Examiner, October 21, 2016. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/state-dept-hired-lawyers-from-clintons-law-firm-to-handle-emails. ^
  12. Westwood, Sarah. “State Dept. Hired Lawyers from Clinton’s Law Firm to Handle Emails.” Washington Examiner, October 21, 2016. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/state-dept-hired-lawyers-from-clintons-law-firm-to-handle-emails. ^
  13. Westwood, Sarah. “State Dept. Hired Lawyers from Clinton’s Law Firm to Handle Emails.” Washington Examiner, October 21, 2016. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/state-dept-hired-lawyers-from-clintons-law-firm-to-handle-emails. ^
  14. Bade, Rachael, Josh Gerstein, and Nick Gass. “Grassley Questions Potential Conflict at State on Email Probe.” POLITICO, August 19, 2015. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/chuck-grassley-questions-potential-conflict-at-state-on-email-probe-121536. ^
  15. Westwood, Sarah. “State Dept. Hired Lawyers from Clinton’s Law Firm to Handle Emails.” Washington Examiner, October 21, 2016. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/state-dept-hired-lawyers-from-clintons-law-firm-to-handle-emails. ^
  16. “Austin Evers Browse Individual Contributions.” FEC.gov. Accessed September 28, 2019. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Austin+Evers&two_year_transaction_period=2008. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Accountable.US (Non-profit)
    Board Member
  2. American Oversight (AO) (Non-profit)
    Executive Director
  3. U.S. Department of State (Government Agency)
    Former Senior Counsel Attorney
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