Every day seems to bring a new revelation with regard to President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia. After Trump admitted on national television that he fired FBI Director James Comey for his investigation into those ties, The New York Times reported yesterday (May 16) that Trump also pressured Comey to drop his criminal investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for his communication with Russian officials. And on May 15, The Washington Post reported that Trump disclosed classified intelligence information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a meeting in the Oval Office.
In light of these alleged transgressions—and led by ranking members Elijah Cummings and John Conyers Jr.—33 Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee wrote a letter to their respective chairmen, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), demanding action. From the letter:
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, counter-intelligence 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. …
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 the 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 later also called into question the actions of Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
In addition to these concerns, we are alarmed that the attorney genial’s actions in recommending that President Trump fire Director Comey may have contradicted his sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing, breached the public recusal he made before the American people and violated the law enacted by Congress to prevent conflicts of interest at the Department of Justice.
Oversight Committee chair Chaffetz issued a letter requesting Comey’s memos last night:
NEW: Oversight Chair Chaffetz sends letter to acting FBI Director requesting documents relating to communications between Comey, Pres. Trump pic.twitter.com/LBERQDJ2RT
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 17, 2017
But the representatives who signed this letter feel it didn’t go far enough.
Although Chairman 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. …
We are concerned that the continued failure of the House of Representatives 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 obligations 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 ends with a request for an immediate vote on a motion to subpoena the White House for documents it refused to furnish following a March 22 request.
Read the entire nine-page letter here.