Cummings to Gowdy: Subpoena Governor Snyder for Documents He Is Withholding from Congress on Flint and Legionnaires

Oct 24, 2017
Press Release

Cummings to Gowdy:

Subpoena Governor Snyder for Documents He Is

Withholding from Congress on Flint and Legionnaires


Ranking Member Asks Chairman to Let Oversight Committee

Members Vote If Refuses to Issue Subpoena On His Own


Washington, D.C. (Oct. 24, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter requesting that Chairman Trey Gowdy issue a subpoena demanding that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder finally comply—in full—with the Committee’s bipartisan request for documents relating to the Flint water crisis, including all documents relating to when the Governor became aware of concerns relating to Legionnaires’ disease.


On October 6, 2017, Harvey Hollins III, the Director of Urban Initiatives for the state of Michigan, gave sworn testimony that he personally informed Governor Snyder about the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in December 2015.  Mr. Hollins’ testimony appears to directly contradict the testimony Governor Snyder gave to the Oversight Committee that, “in terms of Legionnaire’s, I didn’t learn of that until 2016.  And as soon as I became aware of it, we held a press conference the next day.”


“In order for our Committee to complete our investigation in a credible way, we must obtain the documents that Governor Snyder has been withholding from Congress since we first requested them on a bipartisan basis back in February 2016,” Cummings wrote.  “Governor Snyder has been obstructing our investigation for months, and it is now clear that the only way he will turn over the documents we asked for is if he is compelled to do so.”


On February 26, 2016, the Committee sent a bipartisan request to Governor Snyder for documents from April 2014 to the present about the drinking water supply in Flint, including specifically documents relating to when he learned about cases involving Legionnaires’ disease.


The Governor’s office refused to comply fully with this document request, and few documents have been produced to date relating to deaths caused by Legionnaires’ disease. 


On October 12, 2017, Cummings and Gowdy wrote a joint letter to Snyder to follow-up on concerns about the truthfulness of his testimony before the Committee on March 17, 2016.  They asked Snyder to explain the discrepancy in his testimony regarding when he learned about cases involving Legionnaires and to provide the Committee with “any additional relevant information you have concerning the date upon which you first learned of the Legionnaires’ disease.”


On the same day, Snyder responded by rushing to send a letter claiming that his previous “testimony was truthful,” but failing to provide any additional supporting documents the Committee requested.  Snyder wrote that he “will continue to fully cooperate with the Committee,” but he failed to explain why he continues to withhold documents the Committee requested more than a year ago.


“For these reasons, I ask that you issue a subpoena to Governor Snyder requiring him to produce all of the documents we requested, including but not limited to all of the documents relating to his knowledge of Legionnaires’ disease,” Cummings wrote.  “If you choose not to do so, then I ask you to place this matter on the agenda for our next regularly scheduled business meeting so all Committee members will have the opportunity to vote on a motion to subpoena Governor Snyder for the documents and information that he is withholding.”


Click here to read today’s letter.

115th Congress