Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Cummings Asks Chaffetz to Subpoena Michigan Governor for Withheld Flint Documents

Dec 16, 2016
Press Release
Snyder “Obstructed” Committee Investigation for Past Year

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 16, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter urging Chairman Jason Chaffetz to issue a subpoena to compel Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to produce within 30 days key documents that he has been withholding from the Committee during its year-long investigation into the Flint water crisis. 

“For the past year, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his administration have obstructed our Committee’s investigation into the Flint water crisis,” Cummings wrote.  “The Governor has refused to provide—or even search for—key documents.  As a result, the Committee is still unable to answer critical questions about what the Governor knew about the crisis as it unfolded, why he did not act on concerns about water quality, even while his inner circle sounded repeated alarms, and why families in Flint continue to subsist on bottled water almost a year after he declared an emergency.”

See  below to read today’s letter.

 

December 16, 2016

 

The Honorable Jason Chaffetz

Chairman

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

2157 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515                                                   

 

Dear Chairman Chaffetz:

 

            For the past year, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his administration have obstructed our Committee’s investigation into the Flint water crisis. 

 

            The Governor has refused to provide—or even search for—key documents.  As a result, the Committee is still unable to answer critical questions about what the Governor knew about the crisis as it unfolded, why he did not act on concerns about water quality, even while his inner circle sounded repeated alarms, and why families in Flint continue to subsist on bottled water almost a year after he declared an emergency.

 

            In multiple conversations with our staffs, the Governor’s attorneys have defied the Committee’s requests for documents and refused to conduct searches that the Committee has requested.  They have repeatedly delayed responding to the Committee, and they have treated the Committee’s requests as an afterthought that they respond to only after addressing other inquiries that they view as higher priorities. 

 

            On October 7, 2016, both Republican and Democratic Committee staff strongly objected to the approach being employed by Governor Snyder during a conference call with his attorneys.  Your staff members and mine made clear that the Governor’s refusal to comply is unacceptable. 

 

On November 16, 2016, our staffs met to discuss a detailed proposal to require Governor Snyder’s attorneys to complete searches for our most pertinent outstanding requests.  I am attaching an updated draft of that proposal with additional details discussed by our staffs.

 

I now urge you to convey this request directly to Governor Snyder with a subpoena compelling him to comply within 30 days.

 

            During our first hearing on the Flint water crisis on February 3, 3016, you raised the hopes of citizens of Flint greatly when you stated:  “It’s absolutely, fundamentally, and totally wrong.  The public has a right to be outraged.  Outraged doesn’t even begin to cover it.  So I don’t know how we fix this, but it has to be fixed.” 

 

            I completely agree.  Requiring Governor Snyder to finally comply with the Committee’s request will allow us to complete our investigation and offer concrete findings and recommendations to help prevent a catastrophe like this from happening again.  In contrast, allowing Governor Snyder to flout the Committee’s authority will deny the people of Flint the answers they deserve.

 

            Thank you for your consideration of this request.

 

                                                                        Sincerely,

 

                                                                        Elijah E. Cummings

                                                                        Ranking Member

 

Issues: 
114th Congress