Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings is continuing to press White House officials and his Republican counterpart on the House Oversight Committee to bring to light Trump administration employees’ illegal use of private email.
According to a letter Cummings sent today to Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the committee, “several” of Trump’s team members have “confessed” that they did not comply with the Presidential Records Act, which requires them to forward any work-related emails from personal inboxes to their official accounts within 20 days. However, he said the White House has refused to identify who they are.
Cummings and Gowdy both signed a letter on Sept. 25 asking the White House asking for the identities of officials who used their personal email accounts for work. Their deadline was Oct. 9. The White House didn’t comply, and on Oct. 10, a lawyer wrote to Cummings and Gowdy to say Trump’s administration “has endeavored to educate all White House employees regarding their responsibilities under the PRA.” The White House didn’t offer any details on who was involved in the scandal.
Cummings asserted today that Gowdy, a Republican, hasn’t joined him in applying equal pressure on Trump’s White House. Gowdy has previously told Cummings that the White House is in “full compliance” with their request for IDs and records – even though Trump’s team ignored their Oct. 9 deadline.
“Unfortunately, this is now becoming a troubling pattern of the Oversight Committee capitulating to the Trump White House rather than exercising its independent authority to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch,” Cummings wrote today.
Gowdy’s name may be memorable from the Hillary Clinton-Benghazi investigation. He subpoenaed thousands of documents and demanded Clinton testify before the committee.
Cummings suggested Gowdy isn’t applying the same dedication to probing Trump’s administration. Gowdy defended himself against that accusation in an email to Cummings (per The Hill): “Our investigation into private email use for official business is government-wide and not about one entity. The Committee has been looking at the use of private email for years.”
Gowdy also said he “was on the phone with a Cabinet-level official” just this morning, “to ensure their full compliance. We need the documents — not the drama.”
Cummings has asked Gowdy to join him in setting a new deadline of Oct. 26 for the White House to come clean on who misused their email and what they did. If not, the Baltimore congressman said he’ll move to subpoena the White House.
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