Trump’s DOJ Said Executive Branch Can Withhold Info From Dems, Senators From BOTH Parties LIVID

At the very beginning of May, Trump’s Department of Justice issued an opinion that opened the door for all government agencies to withhold information from Congressional Democrats, even if those Democrats are the ranking members of their respective committees. The opinion was written in such a way that Trump and the DOJ can say, “This will apply to regardless of parties,” but that will just be an excuse.

It says, in part:

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“Individual members of Congress, including ranking minority members, do not have the authority to conduct oversight in the absence of a specific delegation by a full house, committee, or subcommittee.”

They don’t? According to acting Assistant Attorney General Curtis Gannon, they don’t. His opinion on the matter went on to say:

“They may request information from the Executive Branch, which may respond at its discretion, but such requests do not trigger any obligation to accommodate congressional needs and are not legally enforceable through a subpoena or contempt proceedings.”

Wow. They can’t even subpoena certain information unless their committee chair does? This is unprecedented. And it’s disgusting.

The problem is that the committees are all chaired by Republicans right now. So agencies are required to give info to Republicans, but not to Democrats. The ranking Democrats on Congressional committees will have to get their chairpersons to request information.

Because of that, both Republicans and Democrats believe this will prevent Congress from carrying out its duties under the Constitution.

Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that, when he headed the Office of Management and Budget under W., he felt it was his responsibility to provide information to whichever member of Congress asked him for it. However, some of Trump’s nominees are refusing to do so even though they’re being pressed on that in their confirmation hearings. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) got angry at Trump’s nominee for the OMB, who refused to answer that question.

Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) said, “This is not what democracy looks like.”

Trump can’t stand opposition. That’s part of what makes him so dangerous to this country. He can’t stand opposition and he can’t stand criticism. He can’t stand people doing their jobs correctly when those jobs involve doing things he doesn’t like. If Democrats are able to get information just by asking for it, then Trump has less control over what happens to it.

Congress is already under sustained fire for how little they work and how much time they spend outside of Washington. And Trump’s DOJ just made that even worse. One has to wonder if this is his first step in gaining absolute control over the legislative branch.


Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images