COMPLICIT: House GOP’s Reckless Campaign to Cover-Up for President Trump’
President Trump likes to downplay Russia’s attack on our democracy and continues to undermine the legitimacy of the Special Counsel’s investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal – calling it a “witch hunt” and “based on an illegal act.” The President is making things up again. Unlike the GOP’s three-year Benghazi investigation, which found no wrongdoing whatsoever, the Special Counsel’s investigation has resulted in 22 indictments and five guilty pleas.
Congress has an obligation to conduct meaningful oversight of the executive branch. House Republicans have instead chosen to aid and abet President Trump’s nonstop campaign to interfere with and discredit the Special Counsel, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. Republicans have stymied Democrats’ efforts to investigate an out-of-control Administration and wasted taxpayer dollars chasing debunked conspiracy theories. It is time for House Republicans—and the so-called “law and order” party—to put our national security ahead President Trump’s political interest by joining Democrats in doing the same.
Republicans’ Relentless Attacks on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Agencies
As President Trump’s legal woes mount and the Special Counsel’s investigation closes in on his campaign’s connections to the Russian government, House Republicans continue to abuse taxpayer resources to undermine the credibility of our law enforcement agencies. Their goal is to muddy the waters of any future legal proceedings or reports by the Special Counsel, the FBI, or the Intelligence Community related to President Trump.
- Chairman Nunes and other Republicans have threatened to impeach Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Rod Rosenstein—even though DOJ continues to comply with their document requests. This comes after President Trump has fired, pressured, or bullied almost everyone responsible for investigating the Trump-Russia scandal, including former FBI Director Jim Comey, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and DAG Rosenstein.
- To support claims that the Department of Justice improperly handled the investigations surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Steele Dossier, and Russian election interference, Judiciary Republicans have requested millions of documents from the Department Justice. To date, the Department has complied with these document requests and Congressional investigators have found nothing improper.
- House Judiciary and Oversight Republicans jointly requested another special counsel to investigate the FBI’s use of the Steele Dossier – despite the fact the DOJ Inspector General is already working on a report concerning the matter.
- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes released a misleading memo on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance process. This piece of propaganda sought to discredit the Department of Justice and the ongoing Russia investigation. Prior to the memo’s release, even the Administration expressed “grave concerns about the material omissions of fact” at issue in the memo as well as the “extraordinarily reckless” actions of Chairman Nunes to mislead the public about the FISA process. And let’s not forget the debacle that was Nunes’ “midnight run” to the White House.
- After months of public and private threats from Chairman Nunes and Republican leaders against the Department of Justice, DAG Rosenstein and other officials, Rosenstein issued this stern warning to House Republicans: they should understand by now that the Department of Justice is not going to get extorted. We’re going to do what’s required by the rule of law, and any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job.
Republicans Refuse to Conduct Meaningful Congressional Oversight
It is clear Speaker Ryan’s belief that “it’s our job to do oversight of the executive branch” only applies when it suits House Republicans and President Trump’s political needs. In the absence of meaningful oversight, the President and his Administration have pursued wildly misguided policies and overstepped established government norms and best practices. House Republicans have repeatedly ignored Democrats’ requests – across nearly all House Committees – for hearings and investigations into various issues involving ethical missteps, corruption, and uninformed policy decisions by this Administration as well as on any matter related to the Trump-Russia scandal.
- Republicans have shut down 11 Democratic resolutions of inquiry, six related to the Russia investigation or obstruction of justice by the President.
- Republicans from the House Judiciary, Oversight, Homeland, and Intelligence Committees have refused Democratic requests for hearings on a wide range of topics including election security, Russian leveraging of social media during the election, Russian efforts to suppress minority voters, and the misappropriation of personal information from social media companies.
- House Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte has blocked access to Russian ads provided by Facebook and has refused to schedule a hearing or markup of a bipartisan bill that protects the Special Counsel. House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Gowdy has blocked 32 subpoena requests related to a variety of issues, including Russian interference, Trump’s conflicts of interests, and the ethical failings of the Administration.
- House Judiciary Committee Republicans refused to attend a private interview conducted by House Judiciary and Oversight Democrats with Christopher Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, who revealed the firm misappropriated and used the personal information of millions of Facebook users during the 2016 election. Instead, Chairman Goodlatte held a hearing on the debunked theory that conservatives are unfairly targeted on social media platforms.
- During the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, Republicans repeatedly refused to subpoena several witnesses for documents and declined to invite multiple individuals associated with the Trump campaign who may have contacts with Kremlin-linked parties.
Republicans Waste Taxpayer Dollars Pursuing Debunked Conspiracy Theories
When not attacking the integrity and independence of Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community, Republicans have focused Congress’ time and resources investigating debunked conspiracy theories. Rather than pursuing the truth, Republicans mislead the public, ignore pressing matters of national security, and deflect attention from Trump’s mounting legal and ethical challenges.
- House Republicans have accused FBI agents of being part of a “Deep State” conspiracy to aid the Clinton campaign, harm the Trump campaign, and now undermine President Trump’s administration. These accusations are based on thousands of text messages between two Department of Justice employees, which in fact failed to show any evidence of bias in the investigation.
- House Judiciary Republicans have accused the Department of Justice of pressuring the FBI to shut down its probe of the Clinton Foundation during the 2016 presidential election. House Judiciary and Intelligence Republicans have threatened subpoenas for information related to Hillary Clinton’s emails. They are ready to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
- House Oversight and Intelligence Republicans launched an investigation into allegations of a “quid pro quo’ between Hillary Clinton and the Russians to approve the Uranium One deal. Multiple reports and the Department of Justice have made clear that then Secretary of State Clinton played no role in the government’s decision making process.
- House Republicans want the President to force the Department of Justice to release highly sensitive classified information related to the Russia investigation that risks compromising national security and American intelligence assets. In response to the Administration’s refusal providing redacted materials, Chairman Nunes has threatened to subpoena, hold in contempt or impeach key DOJ officials.