Democrats Seek Votes on 13 More Subpoena Motions at Thursday’s Oversight Committee Markup

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Washington, March 13, 2018 | comments
Today, Rep. Elijah. E. Cummings and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Ranking Member and Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter requesting that Chairman Trey Gowdy place 13 motions for subpoenas on the agenda for the Committee’s upcoming business meeting on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

For each request, Cummings, Connolly, and other Committee Members previously sent Gowdy detailed letters setting forth the specific bases for the motions, but Gowdy declined to issue subpoenas on his own. They include a wide range of oversight requests within the core jurisdiction of the Committee—some of which had been bipartisan. House rules allow Committees to debate and vote on motions to issue subpoenas if a majority of Committee Members approve, but Gowdy has declined or ignored all requests to obtain these documents.

“We understand that you personally may disagree with our requests, but our Committee Members deserve the opportunity to debate and vote on these motions, rather than you blocking their consideration,” Cummings and Connolly wrote. “House rules provide for subpoenas to be issued by a vote of the full Committee, and we have repeatedly asked for the opportunity to do so. Many Members believe that we must use the full force of the Committee to uphold our Constitutional obligation to conduct rigorous oversight of the executive branch. We ask that you allow us to offer these motions, debate them, and hold votes.”

The proposed motions listed in today’s letter relate to the following 13 investigations in which documents and testimony are currently being withheld:

White House Withholding Documents on Security Clearances
DHS Withholding Documents on Contract for Emergency Meals
White House Withholding Information on Deadly Niger Ambush
CBP Withholding Documents on Allegations of Sexual Assault by CBP Employees
Agencies Withholding Identities of Regulatory Reform Task Force Members
DOD Withholding Documents on Federal Response to Hurricanes
HHS Withholding Documents on Collaboration with Right-Wing Group to Rescind Medicaid Freedom-of-Choice Letter
DOI Withholding Documents on Reassignment of Employees
DOJ Withholding Documents on Communications with White House on AT&T Time-Warner Merger
TIGTA Withholding Response to Complaint
USDA Withholding Documents on Communications with Corporate Lobbyists
Trump Foundation Withholding Documents on Transfer of Assets to a Disqualified Person
Jared Kushner for Testimony at Emergency Hearing on Conflicts of Interest and Security Clearances

Today’s letter follows a previous request that Cummings and Connolly sent to Gowdy on February 2, 2018, asking for 13 motions for subpoenas to be added to the agenda for the business meeting the Committee held on February 6, 2018—all of which were denied:

Trump Organization Withholding Documents on Foreign Payments
DHS Withholding Documents on Russian Attacks Against States Before Election
DHS Withholding Information from IG Report on Trump Muslim Ban
White House and HHS Withholding Documents on Biased Refugee Report
HHS Withholding Documents on Gag Order Against Whistleblowers
Kushner Withholding Emails That Violate Presidential Records Act
White House Withholding Documents on Security Clearance Suspensions
Transition Team and DOJ Withholding Flynn, Jr.’s Security Clearance Documents
White House Withholding Documents on Interim Security Clearances
Flynn and Business Partners Withholding Documents on Middle East Nuclear Deal
Data Firms Withholding Documents on Foreign Contacts During Election
OMB Withholding Agency Downsizing Plans
FDIC Withholding Documents on EPA Senior Advisor Banned from Banking

Cummings also sent Gowdy a similar request on October 31, 2017, asking for six motions for subpoenas to be added to the agenda for the business meeting the Committee held on November 2, 2017, but these were also denied:

White House Withholding Documents on Flynn’s Foreign Contacts
White House Withholding Documents on Personal Email Use by Top Aides
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Withholding Documents on Emails
White House Withholding Documents on Hurricane Response
Governor Snyder Withholding Documents on Flint Water Investigation
Kushner Companies Withholding Documents on Alleged Housing Abuses

Click here to read today’s letter.
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