A watchdog group is suing the Trump administration for documents related to Twin Metals’ mining leases for a potential copper project near Ely and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
American Oversight says the lawsuit is aimed at finding out what influenced the decision, including if it was impacted by a business relationship between Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the daughter and son-in-law to President Donald J. Trump, and Twin Metals owners Antofagasta.
The Chilean mining giant owns the Washington D.C. home rented by Kushner and Ivanka Trump, which has raised questions among environmental groups. Administration officials said they were simply reversing decisions made by the Obama administration to deny the company a mining lease renewal. Separately, the Trump administration also stopped a review and comment period that explored a 20-year mining moratorium that encompassed Twin Metals.
“Whether it’s booking hotel suites, granting trademarks, or renting out their D.C. mansion, lobbyists and foreign interests have made it a priority to develop generous financial relationships with the Trump family,” Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement. “The public has a right to know if the first family is using its political influence to return the favor.”
Twin Metals expects to submit a formal mine proposal this year, which will be followed by a lengthy regulatory process, including an environmental review and permitting.