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GOP Blocks 12 More Subpoena Motions

May 23, 2018
Press Release
Oversight Committee Republicans Have Now Blocked 45 Subpoenas Since Trump Became President

GOP Blocks 12 More Subpoena Motions

 

Oversight Committee Republicans Have Now

Blocked 45 Subpoenas Since Trump Became President

 

Washington, DC (May 23, 2018)— Today, during a business meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Republicans blocked all consideration of Democratic requests to allow Members to offer, debate, and vote on 12 motions to subpoena critical documents and testimony within the Committee’s core oversight jurisdiction.  

Since Rep. Trey Gowdy assumed his role as Chairman, the Oversight Committee has not issued a single subpoena, despite the refusal by the Trump Administration and private actors to respond to dozens of requests for documents.  Gowdy issued 13 subpoenas during his tenure as Chairman of the Benghazi Committee investigating the Obama Administration and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Today, Democrats sought subpoenas on a wide variety of oversight topics, including the Trump Administration’s decision to add an untested new citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the “cleaning” out of career employees at the Statement Department, and stripping information from the Women’s Health website at the Department of Health and Human Services.  Democrats also sought subpoenas to compel the White House to produce the information it continues to withhold from bipartisan requests regarding White House staff’s use of chartered flights and private email accounts.

On Monday, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter requesting that Gowdy place 12 motions for subpoenas on the agenda for today’s business meeting.  For each request, Cummings and other Committee Members previously sent Gowdy detailed letters setting forth the specific bases for these motions.  House rules allow the Committee to debate and vote on motions to issue subpoenas, but Gowdy has refused to allow any to be considered.

During today’s business meeting, Rep. Carolyn Maloney offered a motion for the Committee to debate and vote on these subpoena motions, but Republicans blocked its consideration.  Maloney explained:

“Mr. Chairman, the last time Democrats made this motion, you denied it, but you also promised to take action.  You scheduled several meetings—with the White House and government agencies—but predictably, none of these meetings resulted in a single document being produced.  We still do not have the documents.  And you still have not issued a single subpoena as Chairman of this important Oversight Committee—even for investigations that were bipartisan. … All we are asking is that you let our Committee perform our role under the Constitution.  We understand you do not want to issue subpoenas to the Trump Administration yourself.  But let us take a vote as a Committee.”

Today’s motions relate to the following investigations in which documents and testimony are currently being withheld:

Commerce Department and Census Bureau Withholding Documents on Citizenship Question

Department of Justice Withholding Documents on Request to Add Citizenship Question to Census

Department of Justice Withholding Documents on Politicized Hiring Allegations for Immigration Judges

Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice Withholding Documents on Gag Order Against Whistleblowers

White House Withholding Information on Chartered Flights

White House Withholding Documents on Use of Private Email Accounts

Department of Justice Withholding Documents on Improper Attempt to Classify Dana Boente Notes

State Department and White House Withholding Documents and Testimony on “Cleaning” Out of Career Employees

White House Withholding Documents on Rejected Security Clearance Application for NSC Deputy Robin Townley

Cambridge Analytica Withholding Documents about Foreign Employees’ Participation in U.S. Elections

Department of Health and Human Services Withholding Documents on Effort to Strip Information from Women’s Health Website

The Federal Savings Bank Withholding Documents Relating to Loans Made to the President’s Campaign Chairman

This is the fifth time Republicans have blocked Democratic subpoena motions.

On May 18, 2018, Republicans blocked a subpoena to compel their own witness, a top appointee at the Department of Justice, to answer questions on the Trump Administration’s decision to add a census citizenship question.  Republicans immediately moved to table the subpoena motion, and then voted along party lines to block debate on the motion. 

On March 13, 2018, Cummings and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly sent a request to Gowdy asking for 13 motions for subpoenas to be added to the agenda for the business meeting the Committee held on March 15, 2018—all of which were denied:

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

Cummings and Connolly sent Gowdy a similar request 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 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

115th Congress