Washington, DC—Today, the Chairmen of the House Oversight, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees responded to a letter sent by the White House Counsel responding to the Committees’ request for documents from and interviews with personnel of the Executive Office of the President related to communications between President Donald J. Trump and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation.
Attributable to Chairmen Elijah Cummings, Eliot Engel and Adam Schiff:
“Our Committees are in receipt of the White House Counsel’s letter, which continues a troubling pattern by the Trump Administration of rejecting legitimate and necessary congressional oversight with no regard for precedent or the constitution.
“We are also concerned by the disingenuous assertions and representations in the letter. In previous Democratic and Republican Administrations, the White House made officials available for interviews and produced to the Congress all manner of internal documents and communications regarding ‘the conduct of foreign relations’ by the President and White House and National Security Council staff. In fact, the Obama Administration produced records describing the President and Secretary of State’s calls with foreign leaders. The Congress also received voluminous records from agencies involved in the conduct of U.S. foreign relations, such as the State Department, Defense Department, and other agencies. President Trump’s decision to break with this precedent raises the question of what he has to hide.
“We will be consulting on appropriate next steps. Congress has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight and investigate these matters, and we will fulfill that responsibility.”
The Committees’ original request to Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo can be found here.