NBC News

  • Sept. 2018 – Dec. 2018
The NBC Washington Bureau.

Not long after I arrived in D.C., I started work at the NBC Washington Bureau on the investigative unit. It was thrilling.

Working in offices just feet from me were some of the biggest names in broadcast journalism — Andrea Mitchell, Pete Williams, Ken Dilanian, and more. I got an inside look at how the nerve center of a major American news operation works.

I was thrown into several high-profile projects that often led to travel to NBC Headquarters at 30 Rock in New York City. I was based there during the 2018 midterm elections, where I worked as part of the NBC “VoteWatch” unit. That team of about 40 editors, producers and reporters covered the election from the angle of voter integrity — looking for everything from broken voting machines to long lines at polling stations.

Below are some of several long-form investigative projects I had the chance to work on.

Ben Carson’s ‘signature’ HUD initiative has gone nowhere

“No one actually knows what they are supposed to do,” one public housing authority director said.

Feb. 19, 2019 By Laura Strickler, Suzy Khimm and Cory Dawson

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

Last June, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson traveled to his hometown of Detroit to unveil his “signature” initiative: one-stop shops for social services known as EnVision Centers in 17 communities nationwide. The centers were described in lofty terms as “centralized hubs” offering low-income residents “support services that can help them achieve self-sufficiency.”

But eight months later, not one has opened and the program remains mired in confusion and bureaucratic tangles, according to interviews with HUD officials and staffers for nonprofits and housing authorities that have been designated as EnVision Centers.

Some critics say the program appears to be little more than a rebranding of work that was already underway.

“No one actually knows what they are supposed to do,” said Chad Williams, executive director of the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, which includes Las Vegas where the affordable housing crisis is severe. “I was approached to run one, and I said: ‘What does it do? Where’s the funding?'”

Trump, Kushner, LeFrak could potentially benefit from federal ‘opportunity zones’

The “opportunity zone” program was meant to help “economically distressed” areas — but some zones include affluent neighborhoods.

Dec. 12, 2018 By Laura Strickler and Stephanie Ruhle

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump and other White House staff aboard Air Force One.

WASHINGTON — The Trump Organization, the family real estate interests of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump friend Richard LeFrak, a New York developer, could all benefit from a new federal program that has designated “opportunity zones” in “economically distressed” areas around the country and offers tax benefits for developers.

Kushner’s family already owned real estate on the Jersey Shore, but spent an extra $13.15 million in Long Branch after the area was deemed an opportunity zone by the Treasury Department in April according to Bloomberg News. The Trump Organization was already planning a hotel redevelopment in Greenville, Mississippi, with a partner, but that project is in an area that was declared an opportunity zone in April and could now be eligible for the tax break.

The Trump Organization‘s partner in Mississippi, Suresh Chawla, told NBC News his firm was unaware of the designation and not planning to participate.

Cory Dawson and Kaitlin Sullivan contributed.

Thirteen states now investigating alleged sexual abuse linked to Catholic church

Florida is the latest to announce a statewide investigation. NBC News contacted officials in all 50 states and D.C. and found 13 with statewide probes.

Oct. 4, 2018 By Anne Thompson, Clare Duffy, Rich Gardella and Cory Dawson

The inside of a Catholic church.

WASHINGTON — Florida’s attorney general said Thursday she is launching an investigation of potential sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church, making Florida at least the 13th state with an ongoing statewide probe of the church.

“Any priest that would exploit a position of power and trust to abuse a child is a disgrace to the church and a threat to society,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi in a statement.

The Attorney General’s Office will coordinate its probe with local prosecutors and review records from all seven of Florida’s Catholic dioceses. It is also launching a tip line for victims.

During a press conference Thursday, Bondi said her office will be issuing subpoenas to the dioceses “immediately.” Bishops in Florida have pledged cooperation with the investigation, Bondi said.