Cummings Condemns Republican Abuse of Taxpayer Funds to Affect Presidential Election
Letter Criticizes Republican Pattern of “Accuse, Investigate, Fail, Repeat”
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 9, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Chairman Jason Chaffetz strongly condemning the Committee’s rapidly escalating abuse of taxpayer funds to conduct partisan investigations to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president.
“This is the first time during my twenty years in Congress that I have witnessed the oversight power of this Committee used in such a transparently political manner to directly influence a presidential election, and I can understand why witnesses would not want to participate in this effort,” Cummings wrote.
Cummings’ letter criticizes Chaffetz for issuing “a flurry of desperate subpoenas—without any debate or vote by the Committee—demanding that several individuals appear on Tuesday at an emergency hearing to reinvestigate claims that Secretary Clinton or her aides ordered the destruction of documents to hide them from investigators.”
FBI Director James Comey already investigated these claims and made the unprecedented decision to testify before the Oversight Committee in detail about the evidence they obtained, the law they applied, and the decision-making process they employed. He described how an “all-star team” of experienced investigators conducted this investigation. He even agreed to share with Congress and the public documents from the investigation in an effort to put these issues to rest.
He stated: “we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.” As he emphasized again just this week, “the case itself was not a cliff-hanger.”
Cummings’ letter criticized Chaffetz for demanding that multiple individuals who were already interviewed as part of the FBI investigation be forced to re-appear before the Committee in order to force them to assert the Fifth Amendment.
“By taking these actions, you are staging a set-up,” Cummings wrote. “First, you accuse them of criminal activity without evidence and refer them for criminal investigation. Then you rush to subpoena them to testify without any debate or vote, virtually guaranteeing that some will invoke the Fifth Amendment when their attorneys advise them to steer far clear of our Committee.”
“I can understand why some witnesses may want no part of this political circus,” Cummings wrote. “This is not a credible investigation in pursuit of legitimate oversight. This is a farce. It takes partisan gamesmanship to an entirely new level, and it undermines the integrity of our Committee.”
Click here to read today’s letter.