Democratic Chairmen Request Interviews to Investigate Acting Interior Secretary’s Calendar Omissions and Compliance with FOIA

Mar 28, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Mar. 28,  2019)— Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, sent a letter to Department of the Interior (DOI) Acting Secretary David Bernhardt requesting that he make four top Department officials available for transcribed interviews.

“Recent testimony from a senior official at DOI, as well as recent press reports, raise questions about whether you and other officials are adequately preserving records of your schedule and daily appointments,” the Chairmen wrote.  “The Committees are also concerned about whether information about your meetings is being properly released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).”

On March 13, 2019, the Oversight Committee held a hearing on compliance with FOIA.  During the hearing, in response to questions about whether Acting Secretary Bernhardt has calendars or calendar entries that are being deleted at the end of each day, Rachel Spector, the Deputy Chief FOIA Officer at DOI, testified that she is aware of an issue being evaluated internally by the Department. 

On February 28, 2019, Bernhardt wrote in a letter to the Natural Resources Committee that he did not personally maintain a calendar. 

Click here to read today’s letter.

 

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116th Congress