Oversight Dems Accuse White House of Interfering ‘Directly and Aggressively’ in Yet Another Investigation

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Democrats on Capitol Hill have continuously accused the Trump administration of deliberately working against them to stifle investigations, and those allegations intensified on Friday when the House Oversight Committee accused the White House of interfering “directly and aggressively” with an interview this week.

In a memo from the majority staff, Democrats said that they interviewed former Secretary of State of Kansas Kris Kobach, “regarding the Trump Administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.” The previously undisclosed interview took place on Monday.

The letter accuses the White House of interfering “directly and aggressively” with the interview:

“The White House interfered directly and aggressively with the Committee’s interview by instructing Mr. Kobach not to answer any questions about his communications with the President and White House advisors about the real reasons they added the citizenship question. ”

They wrote that “the White House sent several letters, including on the day of the interview, vastly expanding its previous assertions of Executive Privilege to apply to Mr. Kobach,” noting, that Kobach is “a private citizen who did not work for the Trump Administration when these communications took place.”

The memo also accuses Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross of operating “a secret campaign to orchestrate the addition of the citizenship question.”

Next week, the Oversight Committee intends to vote to hold Ross and Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. Chairman Elijah Cummings said that “rather than cooperate, they have decided that they would rather be held in contempt of Congress.”

Kobach, for his part, has been something of a recurring figure in the Trump orbit, though the president seems to have mixed feelings about him. He tried to talk himself into a cabinet position before a White House official told McClatchy that Kobach was not in consideration for any role in the White House.

Trump tapped Kobach to lead an investigation of voter fraud after insisting that he would have won the popular vote if it weren’t for alleged fraudulent ballots. But Trump eventually disbanded the heavily criticized panel.

The Kansas politician has been mostly unsuccessful in his career — he hasn’t won a significant election outside of Secretary of State races in 2010 and 2014. In 2000, he lost a State Senate race, and in 2004 he lost a Congressional race. He ran for governor in 2018 but lost to Democrat Laura Kelly.

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General Confusion
Member

Now, you may be confused as to WHY Kris Kobach and W. Ross need to be questioned.

The reason is that Kobach pitched the original idea to Sec. Ross in the first place and Ross consulted with Kobach and Steve Bannon about it. This was officially revealed and admitted in testimony last year. These guys were instrumental in pushing the census question, so the House Oversight Committee has every right to question them and demand answers to their concerns.

Otis
Member

I agree that the oversight committee has the right and the duty to question White House maneuvers but I still do not see what is so threatening about the question in question. Should the government not know who is living here? At will, The Man can basically crawl up anyone’s
GI tract and will do so. There is guilt before innocence
when the IRS is a playa; Ask anyone who has ever been audited.

General Confusion
Member

“I still do not see what is so threatening about the question in question.” And therein lies the problem. You have no idea how census information gets used and you have no idea how adding the citizenship question to the census affects the quality that the data will have as a result of the question being added to it. Firstly, the legal aspect is that the Constitution specifies that the census is supposed to count persons in the country. This was laid out by the founding fathers because they knew that there would be people other than citizens here, including… Read more »

General Confusion
Member

Of course, I should have added that this partly depends on which form is used, but in the last one, one in six got the long form. The same principle applies to the short form. Bad data is bad data.

General Confusion
Member

One of the reasons the question even exists is because a radical anti-immigration group has infiltrated the White House. Lou Dobbs, Kobach, Sessions, Conway and Stephen Miller all have links to FAIR. As an independent, I hope you can see how you have been played.

https://news.vice.com/en_ca/article/mb9nb3/fair-trump-white-house-federation-for-american-immigration-reform

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