GOP Blocks 12 More Subpoena Motions
GOP Blocks 12 More Subpoena Motions
Oversight Committee Republicans Have Now
Blocked 45 Subpoenas Since Trump Became President
Washington, DC (May 23, 2018)— Today, during a business meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Republicans blocked all consideration of Democratic requests to allow Members to offer, debate, and vote on 12 motions to subpoena critical documents and testimony within the Committee’s core oversight jurisdiction.
Since Rep. Trey Gowdy assumed his role as Chairman, the Oversight Committee has not issued a single subpoena, despite the refusal by the Trump Administration and private actors to respond to dozens of requests for documents. Gowdy issued 13 subpoenas during his tenure as Chairman of the Benghazi Committee investigating the Obama Administration and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Today, Democrats sought subpoenas on a wide variety of oversight topics, including the Trump Administration’s decision to add an untested new citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the “cleaning” out of career employees at the Statement Department, and stripping information from the Women’s Health website at the Department of Health and Human Services. Democrats also sought subpoenas to compel the White House to produce the information it continues to withhold from bipartisan requests regarding White House staff’s use of chartered flights and private email accounts.
On Monday, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter requesting that Gowdy place 12 motions for subpoenas on the agenda for today’s business meeting. For each request, Cummings and other Committee Members previously sent Gowdy detailed letters setting forth the specific bases for these motions. House rules allow the Committee to debate and vote on motions to issue subpoenas, but Gowdy has refused to allow any to be considered.
During today’s business meeting, Rep. Carolyn Maloney offered a motion for the Committee to debate and vote on these subpoena motions, but Republicans blocked its consideration. Maloney explained:
“Mr. Chairman, the last time Democrats made this motion, you denied it, but you also promised to take action. You scheduled several meetings—with the White House and government agencies—but predictably, none of these meetings resulted in a single document being produced. We still do not have the documents. And you still have not issued a single subpoena as Chairman of this important Oversight Committee—even for investigations that were bipartisan. … All we are asking is that you let our Committee perform our role under the Constitution. We understand you do not want to issue subpoenas to the Trump Administration yourself. But let us take a vote as a Committee.”
Today’s motions relate to the following investigations in which documents and testimony are currently being withheld:
This is the fifth time Republicans have blocked Democratic subpoena motions.
On May 18, 2018, Republicans blocked a subpoena to compel their own witness, a top appointee at the Department of Justice, to answer questions on the Trump Administration’s decision to add a census citizenship question. Republicans immediately moved to table the subpoena motion, and then voted along party lines to block debate on the motion.
On March 13, 2018, Cummings and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly sent a request to Gowdy asking for 13 motions for subpoenas to be added to the agenda for the business meeting the Committee held on March 15, 2018—all of which were denied:
Cummings and Connolly sent Gowdy a similar request on February 2, 2018, asking for 13 motions for subpoenas to be added to the agenda for the business meeting the Committee held on February 6, 2018—all of which were denied:
Cummings also sent Gowdy a request on October 31, 2017, asking for six motions for subpoenas to be added to the agenda for the business meeting the Committee held on November 2, 2017, but these were also denied: