A nonpartisan watchdog group sued the Department of Transportation on Monday for documents related to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Restore Public Trust submitted two FOIA requests seeking information related to Chao earlier this year. The DOT acknowledged receiving the requests in April, but it has yet to hand over any documents.
The requests were in response to a New York Times report that disclosed ties between Chao’s family company and her official actions as secretary of transportation.
Chao’s family owns the Foremost Group, an American shipping company headquartered in China. While she holds no formal stake in the company, her high status as a U.S. official and her marriage to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest.
Chao has been accused of attempting to arrange government-funded transportation for relatives, using her status to promote the company, and allowing family members into high-profile meetings that could affect their business interests.