Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:
“It’s become clear that across the government, President Trump is trying to shut down any inquiry into what his Administration is doing. That’s why Rex Tillerson’s appearance before the Committee was so heartening. It’s how the government is supposed to work: Congress and the executive branch seeking answers together.
“Moreover, I think there’s a larger message to draw from the former Secretary’s appearance. Current and former Executive Branch employees have a statutory right to speak to Congress without fear of retribution. The White House’s sweeping, indefensible claims of Executive Privilege are no bar to this. Rather, the First Amendment protects such disclosures in an appropriate setting. There are no statutory penalties for divulging otherwise disclosable information that the White House may believe is covered by Executive Privilege. The Foreign Affairs Committee stands ready to help public servants do the right thing.”
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