Cummings Asks Gowdy to Obtain White House Documents on Niger Ambush

Feb 21, 2018
Press Release

Cummings Asks Gowdy to Obtain

White House Documents on Niger Ambush


Washington, D.C. (Feb. 21, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter asking Chairman Trey Gowdy to join him in requesting documents from the White House to address critical unanswered questions about the deadly ambush in Niger on October 4, 2017, that killed four U.S. Special Forces troops:  Staff Sgts. Bryan C. Black, Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Dustin M. Wright, and Sgt. La David Johnson.

“[I]it is now clear that, in order to conduct our investigation in a thorough manner, we need information that only the White House can provide,” Cummings wrote.  “Since you refuse to seek a briefing from the White House, I now request that you at least join me in requesting documents from the White House on the deadly ambush in Niger—a step you took without hesitation when you served as the Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi.”

On October 25, 2017, Cummings and Gowdy sent a joint letter to the Department of Defense requesting a briefing on the Niger ambush for all Committee Members, but Gowdy declined to join Cummings’ letter on the same date requesting a briefing from the White House.  The White House has refused to provide any information about the Niger ambush or respond to Cummings’ request in any way. 

In today’s letter, Cummings noted that when Gowdy served as Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, he sent a letter to the Obama White House on December 29, 2014, seeking 12 broad categories of documents, writing that “the Committee’s investigation requires a review of executive branch materials,” including documents from “the White House” and “the Executive Office of the President.” 

In response, the Obama White House delivered nearly 1,500 pages of documents in eight separate productions, including emails from top White House officials, as well as internal communications between the National Security Council staff and top officials from the State Department and Defense Department on the night of the attacks.

“When Congress investigates deadly attacks against U.S. servicemembers overseas, our actions should be conducted without regard to political considerations—they should not intensify when the President is a Democrat but then virtually evaporate when he is a Republican,” Cummings wrote.

Click here to read today’s letter.


115th Congress