2015 George Mason University Response to FOIA for Records about the Charles Koch Foundation’s Influence

This document, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request obtained from George Mason University (GMU), was originally published by UnKoch My Campus in May 2018. These documents were covered in numerous articles including by Slate, TYT Investigates, the Fairfax County Times, and the New York Times.

The large FOIA response, totaling 762 pages, provides evidence of the extent to which the Koch fortune has control over GMU’s economics department and law school. It includes communications with Leonard Leo, who was the subject of an investigation by Robert O’Harrow and Shawn Boberg of the Washington Post’s investigative unit for his dark money operations to try to pack the courts and change U.S. laws through the judiciary and other means.

On the subject of the Koch influence over GMU’s law school, GMU graduate student Allison Pienta wrote up her findings for the UnKoch My Campus website: 

“Documents obtained by alumni and students through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) over the past year and one-half reveal that George Mason University’s public law school has been taken over by the conservative Washington, DC-based Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy. Since April 2016, the Federalist Society has been influencing faculty and student placement, recommending and establishing legal programs, redirecting large amounts of scholarship revenues to support the Law School’s most-politicized centers for the ‘Study of the Administrative State’ and ‘Liberty and Law,’ and even reorienting the Law School’s judicial law clerk program to place “conservative” law students associated with the Federalist Society as clerks to the nation’s judges.”