WH Telling Agencies to Ignore Oversight Requests From Dems

Politico notes that while the Obama administration regularly drew complaints from Republicans for being slow to respond to their oversight requests, the Obama White House never issued a sweeping order sent out to multiple agencies telling them not to cooperate.

Two months ago, congressional Democrats first went public with concerns that the Trump administration had ordered executive-branch officials to withhold information from Democratic offices.

"You have Republicans leading the House, the Senate and the White House", an unnamed White House official told Politico. The declaration amounts to a new level of partisanship in Washington, where the president and his administration already feels besieged by media reports and attacks from Democrats.

Rebuffing the requests would block "new information that could be used to attack the president", Republicans said.

The White House didn't exactly deny this.

A White House spokesman said the administration's policy is "to accommodate the requests of chairmen, regardless of their political party".

But no tax bill of any kind has been introduced in the House or the Senate. "And at the White House it's definitely 100 percent".

For those unfamiliar with institutional norms, there's no modern precedent for anything like this.

The following day, people started to notice, and needless to say, they were surprised, given that the White House has not yet presented either chamber of Congress with a tax bill.

"We can not do our jobs if the Trump Administration adopts this unprecedented new policy of refusing to provide any information to Congress unless a request is backed by the implicit threat of a subpoena", Cummings added.

The top Democrat on the House oversight committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings - who has sent out dozens of letters since January on everything ranging from ethics concerns to the Russian Federation investigation - said in a statement to CNN, "This is not what democracy looks like". "I was dumbfounded at their response".

  • Larry Hoffman