After news broke Tuesday of a memo by former FBI Director James Comey detailing President Donald Trump’s attempt to get him to stop the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, House Democrats issued a demand for an immediate investigation into the president, the U.S. attorney general and top White House aides.
All 33 Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on the Judiciary sent a detailed letter (pdf) to their respective Republican chairmen demanding an immediate investigation into the actions of Trump, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and top White House aides. The letter began:
We are writing to request that the Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee launch an immediate joint investigation into whether President Donald Trump and his top officials are engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to obstruct the criminal, counterintelligence, and oversight investigations currently being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and Congress into members of his presidential campaign and their contacts with Russian officials.
In explaining the reasoning behind their request, the representatives wrote:
Given the gravity of the events that have occurred over the past several weeks, there is simply no reasonable question that the Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee should already be conducting a robust investigation of these issues that includes public hearings, document requests, and interviews and depositions. It is unacceptable to continue ignoring these scandals.
The letter addresses the lack of action to date on the part of both committees. In reference to the Oversight Committee, the letter read:
Although Chairman [Jason] Chaffetz recently sent a letter to the Department of Justice Inspector General, we believe that response is anemic—especially for the Oversight Committee, which claims to be the premiere investigative body in the House of Representatives—and particularly in comparison to the multiple “emergency” hearings he called and the unilateral subpoenas he issued as part of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
And with reference to the Judiciary Committee:
On several occasions—through at least four letters to Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte, and in debate on three separate resolutions of inquiry debated in the Judiciary Committee—we have called for the Majority to take action “to ensure the integrity and independence of both the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The letter concludes:
We are concerned that the continued failure of House Republicans to take action in the face of this onslaught of allegations will cause significant damage to the faith that the American people have in the credibility and integrity of our Committees and the House of Representatives. We have a solemn obligation under the Constitution to act as a check on the Executive Branch and to hold President Trump accountable. It is time to do our job.
The letter demands an immediate public hearing with Comey and copies of all his memos relating to Trump, as well as all associated agency and White House records, including any audiotapes and notes, if they exist.
The letter also requests that the Oversight Committee schedule an immediate vote on a motion to subpoena the White House to produce documents it has been withholding in response to the bipartisan request from ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Chairman Chaffetz (R-Utah) on March 22. All Democratic members of the Oversight Committee sent a letter to Chaffetz on April 27, insisting that he press the White House to produce these documents, but the chairman refused even to hold a meeting.
At this point, it’s too soon to tell what action, if any, the two committees will take with regard to this latest scandal involving our president, but I think the American people have had about enough of this reality show, and we are ready for it to be canceled already.