Committee votes to reject White House claim that head of political office has absolute immunity from Congress
Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a resolution to reject White House assertions of “absolute immunity” for political affairs office head, David Simas, who has failed to appear before the Committee twice. This morning, the White House declined Chairman’s further accommodation to allow Mr. Simas to comply with his obligations under the subpoena. Yesterday, Chairman Issa offered White House Counsel Neil Eggleston the option of committing to make Mr. Simas available for a deposition and producing documents: the same accommodations to which the Bush Administration agreed when Democrats held the majority in the House of Representatives.
WATCH Congresswoman Holmes Norton (D-DC) in the debate on the resolution on White House immunity, argue “You don’t have the right to know”
The Committee will continue to offer Mr. Simas the opportunity to testify as it moves forward in enforcing its subpoena.
Read the letter offering the option of committing to make Mr. Simas available for a deposition and producing documents here.
Yesterday, the Chairman released the resolution that the Committee approved today.
On July 18, the Chairman offered Mr. Simas a second chance to testify at today’s reconvened hearing.
On July 16, Simas failed to appear at the Oversight hearing, where he was to appear under subpoena following a refusal to testify. During this hearing, the Oversight Committee heard audio tape of cabinet official Hilda Solis making an illegal campaign solicitation.