‘If you intend to continue to use the Committee’s limited resources to attack President Trump for political gain, I hope that you will at least be transparent about your actions…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent a scathing letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., for his “partisan and unprecedented” decision to investigate President Donald Trump without so much as notifying Republicans on the committee.
Cummings issued a subpoena to Mazars USA LLP, an accounting firm, demanding all records from when the company worked with Trump. The request seeks 10-year-old information, CNN reported.
“You issued this subpoena over my objection without having a debate or vote of the Committee, as you promised,” wrote Jordan, the ranking minority member on the Oversight committee.
Jordan, a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has often maintained an adversarial relationship with Cummings and criticized his unilateral actions since the Democrat assumed the chairmanship in January.
“This is not fair and objective congressional oversight,” Jordan continued. “Your subpoena is an act of raw partisan politics meant only to further your obsession with attacking the President of the United States.”
Cummings is pursuing subpoenas based on the testimony of Michael Cohen, a former attorney for Trump. Cohen claimed that the president purposefully distorted financial reports.
Jordan said Cummings did not let the committee debate or vote before issuing the subpoena, despite pledging that he would do so in January.
Cummings also signed a memorandum of understanding—a nonbinding agreement to move forward on investigations—with Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
“You did not consult with Republican Members of the Committee or allow Members to consider and debate the terms of your MOU before executing the MOU with Chairwoman Waters,” Jordan wrote. “You did not disclose the MOU’s existence to Members or the American people until after I raised the matter.”
Jordan outlined the provisions in the agreement: Cummings promised to share sensitive House Oversight Committee information with Waters, and he assured Waters that he would seek advice from her before issuing the subpoena to Mazars.
In other words, Cummings solicited guidance from Waters, the chairwoman of a separate committee, but not from the minority members on the House Oversight Committee.
In the letter, Jordan included 11 questions.
“Do you intend to consult with Chairwoman Waters before or after you consult with me, as required by Committee Rules?” Jordan asked.
Jordan requested that Cummings explain how his secret agreements adhere to House and Committee rules.
“The Rules of the Committee for the 116th Congress do not authorize the Chairman to bind the Committee through an MOU,” he wrote. “Could you explain the specific authority that allows you to bind the Committee through an MOU without first obtaining approval through a vote of the Committee?”
He asked Cummings to disclose the number and nature of secret agreements that he has signed as committee chairman.
“If you intend to continue to use the Committee’s limited resources to attack President Trump for political gain, I hope that you will at least be transparent about your actions,” Jordan wrote.
“Your ability to function as a fair and unbiased finder of fact is now at grave risk. The Members of the Committee—and, more importantly, the American citizens we represent—deserve to know exactly how you are leading this Committee.”