Committee Seeks Information and Interview on White House Compliance with Federal Records Laws Regarding Trump-Putin Communications

Jun 24, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (June 24, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney following up on a request made more than three months ago regarding reports that President Donald Trump may have violated the Presidential Records Act by confiscating and destroying documents to keep secret the details of his meetings with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.

“The Presidential Records Act is at the core of the Oversight Committee’s legislative and oversight jurisdiction, and I had hoped that the White House would cooperate voluntarily with this inquiry,” Cummings wrote.   “Instead, the White House has disregarded these legitimate congressional inquiries and dissembled about basic facts.  These actions do not serve the interests of the American people, and they obstruct and frustrate the Committee’s review.”

On February 21, 2019, Cummings, Rep. Eliot Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter requesting answers to five specific questions by March 1, 2019, regarding how the White House was complying with federal records laws.

On March 21, 2019, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter incorrectly claiming that all of the Committee’s questions had been “fully” answered in previous correspondence.   In fact, the White House has not answered any of these questions.  The three previous letters from the White House Counsel cited as examples of “prior responsive letters” were sent 20 months, 16 months, and 2 months before the Committee’s February 21, 2019, request.

In the letter today, the Committee seeks not only the information requested on February 21, but also a transcribed interview by July 5, 2019, with the Director of the White House Office of Records Management or another official competent to address these issues.  

Click here to read the letter to the White House.

116th Congress