As we all know, Ben Carson, who is a former neurosurgeon, is the unqualified secretary of HUD (Housing and Urban Development). Carson has been protested for being terrible at his job and he is even attempting to take away fair housing from low-income people.
However, Carson tainting HUD doesn’t just end with him. Candy Carson, his wife, and his son, Ben Carson Jr., has had some questionable involvement at HUD, according to Mother Jones. “With anything where we can be helpful, if Dad asks us to come along and help out, we’ll always do that,” Ben Jr. said in August after being asked about his role. “We’re here to offer support, whatever we can do.”
Come along and help out? Did you “come along and help out” when he was performing brain surgery? Sounds like serious nepotism.
CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), a watchdog group, demanded further details under the Freedom of Information Act, but the request was shut down, according to a report published by the Freedom From Religious Foundation (FFRF) on Thursday.
“CREW sought a fee waiver and records, including emails, relating to the role Carson’s son and wife play in HUD, where they are ‘omnipresent’ fixtures,” FFRF wrote. “HUD denied another of CREW’s waivers, this time for records relating to Carson’s use of private planes to travel.”
Yep, you read that right — the good doctor might was accused of using a private plane to travel on taxpayer money.
HUD and Carson are blocking CREW and other watchdog groups by denying “fee waivers,” which are required under the law to make a Freedom of Information Act request. Along with the allegations of his family working at HUD and the private plane — there have been reports that he actually flies commercial “for official HUD business” — FFRF and CREW filed an additional request about peculiar bible study sessions at the White House that are potentially taxpayer-funded.
“FFRF is seeking the records to determine whether or not the bible study uses government resources, whether staffers may feel coerced into organizing or even participating in the religious event, and to ascertain government access granted to Capitol Ministries, a group that seeks to evangelize elected officials,” the nonprofit organization wrote.
Due to all of the requests being blocked, FFRF filed a lawsuit Thursday “in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit alleges that HUD has a pattern and practice of denying fee waivers on Freedom of Information Act requests ‘where disclosure of the requested documents is likely to cast the agency or HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a negative light,'” FFRF wrote.
Does Dr. Ben Carson have something to hide? If not, why block all of these requests, which question whether taxpayers are paying for his family, a private plane and bible study sessions? This all sounds seriously suspect, especially considering the countless investigations under the Trump administration.
Transparency is key, Dr. Carson. What would Jesus do?
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated that Ben Carson’s wife and son work at HUD. The headline and text of this story have been updated to reflect this correction.