Republicans Block 13 More Subpoena Motions— Including for White House Security Clearance Docs

Mar 15, 2018
Press Release

Republicans Block 13 More Subpoena Motions—

Including for White House Security Clearance Docs


Total of 32 Subpoenas Have Now Been Rejected by

Oversight Committee Since Trump Became President


Washington, D.C. (Mar. 15, 2018)—Today, during a business meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Republicans blocked all consideration of Democratic requests to allow Members to offer, debate, and vote on 13 motions to subpoena critical documents and testimony within the Committee’s core oversight jurisdiction.  Under Chairman Gowdy’s tenure, the Committee has not issued a single subpoena since Donald Trump became President.


These include documents relating to interim security clearances currently being withheld by the White House in response to a request from Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, as well as testimony from Jared Kushner relating to his conflicts of interest and his actions leading to the stripping of his Top Secret security clearance. 


They also include documents currently being withheld by the Trump Foundation, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other Trump Administration agencies.


On Tuesday, Ranking Member Elijah. E. Cummings and Vice Ranking Member Gerald E. Connolly sent a detailed letter requesting that Chairman Trey Gowdy place these 13 motions for subpoenas on the agenda for today’s business meeting.  House rules allow Committees to debate and vote on motions to issue subpoenas if a majority of Committee Members approve.  Democrats previously sent Gowdy separate letters setting forth the specific bases for each motion, but Gowdy never responded.


During today’s business meeting, Connolly offered a motion for the Committee to debate and vote on these subpoena motions, but Republicans blocked its consideration. 


“Frankly, I just don’t get it,” said Connolly today.  “I don’t know why the choice is being made to protect President Trump and this administration at the expense of our Constitutional duty to conduct oversight.  It’s in our Committee’s name.  We are not the Committee for Protecting the Donald J. Trump Administration.  We are the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.”


Today’s motions relate to the following investigations in which documents and testimony are currently being withheld:


·         White House Withholding Documents on Security Clearances

·         Jared Kushner for Testimony at Emergency Hearing on His Conflicts of Interest and Security Clearance Application

·         DHS Withholding Documents on Contract for Emergency Meals

·         White House Withholding Information on Deadly Niger Ambush

·         CBP Withholding Documents on Allegations of Sexual Assault by CBP Employees

·         Agencies Withholding Identities of Regulatory Reform Task Force Members

·         DOD Withholding Documents on Federal Response to Hurricanes

·         HHS Withholding Documents on Collaboration with Right-Wing Group to Rescind Medicaid Freedom-of-Choice Letter

·         DOI Withholding Documents on Reassignment of Employees

·         DOJ Withholding Documents on Communications with White House on AT&T Time-Warner Merger

·         TIGTA Withholding Response to Complaint

·         USDA Withholding Documents on Communications with Corporate Lobbyists

·         Trump Foundation Withholding Documents on Transfer of Assets to Disqualified Persons


This is the third time Republicans have blocked Democratic subpoena motions.


On February 2, 2018, Cummings and Connolly sent Gowdy a similar request for 13 motions for subpoenas to be added to the agenda for the business meeting on February 6, 2018—all of which were also denied:



On October 31, 2017, Cummings asked Gowdy to add six motions for subpoenas  to the agenda for the business meeting on November 2, 2017, but these were also denied:


115th Congress