Cummings Releases Memo on Interview with DOJ Official on Citizenship Question

Mar 14, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Mar. 14, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, released a supplemental memo during a hearing with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

The memo summarizes a transcribed interview conducted by Committee staff with John Gore, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. 

The memo explains that Mr. Gore—at the direction of Department of Justice lawyers—declined more than 150 times to answer questions from both Democratic and Republican staff that are central to the Committee’s investigation. 

They did not assert any valid privilege, but instead made the baseless claim that the Department could not comply while there was separate ongoing litigation—a claim that has been thoroughly debunked.

The supplemental memo also describes some new information obtained during the interview.  Specifically:

  • A Department of Commerce official told Mr. Gore why he hand-delivered a secret memo regarding the citizenship question to Mr. Gore.
  • A Trump Transition Team official sent DOJ a draft request to add the citizenship question.
  • Mr. Gore discussed the citizenship question with the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Mr. Gore discussed apportionment with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and two Commerce lawyers.

Click here to read the supplemental memo.

116th Congress