Opinion | Elijah Cummings: The White House hasn’t turned over a single piece of paper to my committee
In November, the American people voted overwhelmingly to put Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives to start serving as a truly independent check and balance on the executive branch. Since then, President Trump and his allies have complained of “Presidential Harassment,” decrying Democrats for having the audacity to request documents and witnesses to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities.
I serve as chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee, the primary investigative body in the House of Representatives. I have sent 12 letters to the White House on a half-dozen topics — some routine and some relating to our core national security interests. In response, the White House has refused to hand over any documents or produce any witnesses for interviews.
One of the most important investigations we are conducting is a review of White House security clearances. The White House argues that Congress is not entitled to any information about individual employees, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying about his communications with the Russians; current national security adviser John Bolton, who worked directly with the gun rights group founded by now-convicted Russian spy Maria Butina; or the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was reportedly given access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets over the objections of then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and others.