The Trump administration is panicking. With Democrats firmly in control of the House of Representatives after the blowout midterm elections, the White House is starting to get hit with subpoenas left and right. Now that they finally have the power to do so, the Dems are turning over every Trump-related rock in sight, and it’s only a matter of time before some serious scandals envelop the president and his cronies.
Today, the administration made the stunning announcement that it will not be turning over documents to Congress unless it’s proven that they are related exclusively to “legislative purposes” in a blatant repudiation of Congress’s oversight responsibilities. Their refusal comes in response to Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings’s (D-MD) perfectly legitimate request for details about Jared Kushner’s security clearance.
WH rejects Elijah Cummings’ request for information about specific details about the security clearance process and Kushner’s clearance – and Cummings says he will now decide next steps. Here’s the WH letter: https://t.co/B3ebF3CPSi
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 5, 2019
Cummings has already responded to the refusal by announcing that he is speaking with lawmakers to determine “the next step.”
“The White House appears to be arguing that Congress has no authority to examine decisions by the Executive Branch that impact our national security — even when the President’s former National Security Advisor has pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with foreign government officials,” Cummings said according to The Hill.
Now, Trump is trying to defend his undemocratic and deeply suspicious refusal by attacking President Obama. He claimed, without any proof or further explanation, that Obama “didn’t give one letter” to Congress when they were requested of him.
It’s unclear what Trump was referring to specifically, but his insistence that Obama behaved the same way as him is as laughable as it is transparent. President Obama didn’t have to defy Congress’s oversight powers because his administration, unlike Trump’s, wasn’t a cesspit of blatant corruption and criminality.
Pres. Trump suggested today WH won't cooperate w Dems: "President Obama, from what they tell me, was under a similar kind of a thing, didn't give one letter. They didn't do anything. They didn't give one letter of the requests. Many requests were made. They didn't give a letter."
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) March 5, 2019
Eric Schultz, a former Obama White House official, was quick to point out Trump’s lie. As Schultz explained on Twitter, the Obama administration produced “hundreds of thousands of documents” for Congress on everything from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill to the Affordable Care Act. On the topic of Benghazi alone, they released enough documents to cover up half a football field.
From 2011 – 2016 the Obama White House produced hundreds of thousands of documents to Congress on Solyndra, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, CAFE standards rule, Deep Water Horizon spill, ACA, ACA website, Clean Water Rule, and Ft Hood shooting. https://t.co/V3qA99TBxm
— Eric Schultz (@EricSchultz) March 5, 2019
In other words, the reality is a far cry from Trump’s claim that Obama refused to produce even “one letter.” As we have seen him do time and again, our current conman president is attacking a political enemy as a means of distracting the public from his own misdeeds. His refusal to hand over documents to the House Oversight Committee is an obvious attempt to cover up for Kushner and himself, with no legitimate grounds on which to defend it.
Republicans hounded the Obama White House on every topic they could conjure up and the administration responded by cooperating in good faith. Their behavior stands in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s, despite the current Oval Office occupant’s lies to the contrary.