Interior Dept. Halts Dems’ Fact-Finding Trips Because They Behave Badly

Bureau of Land Management taken aback by ‘overly aggressive and unprofessional’ conduct of Democratic House staffer…

Trump Administration Restricts Oversight Visits by Unruly Dems

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez creates a public spectacle while touring border detention facilities. / IMAGE: Global News via Youtube

(Dan E. Way, Liberty Headlines) Misconduct by Democratic congressional staffers has pushed the escalating battle with executive branch agencies to the boiling point in what might be politically motivated incidents heading into the 2020 presidential election.

The most recent skirmish blew up between the Department of the Interior and Peter Kiefhaber, a House Appropriations Committee staff member, NBC News reported.

It followed a series of incidents at the border involving misbehavior and misstatements by socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-NY, and others.

As a result of the most recent mischief, a senior Interior Department official told NBC, the agency halted all House trips to property managed by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and several other agencies that all fall under the Interior Department’s supervision.


In order to resume the oversight visits, the Interior Department wants rules put in place to guide interactions among congressional staff members, and the career and political officials who facilitate the trips.

The NBC source said Todd Willens, the Interior Department’s chief of staff, requested that Kiefhaber return immediately to Washington after “overly aggressive and unprofessional” behavior directed at BLM Chief of Staff Amanda Kaster during a tour of the bureau’s sites in Nevada in late August.

Willens told Kiefhaber his trip was paid for by the Interior Department, and he should return to Washington, DC, on the next available flight to preserve the safety and well-being of agency employees and to avoid further chaos.

Evan Hollander, spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, told NBC that Interior Department officials fabricated the incident to block constitutional congressional oversight activities, thus trampling democratic norms.

Willens sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee requesting an investigation into the allegations that Kiefhaber “accosted and bullied” Kaster and prevented her from entering a room during a department meeting, referring to her as a “minder.”

The Democrat-run House has aggressively used its majority control to entangle the Trump administration in all manner of hearings and inquiries. The overzealous use of its oversight authority has spilled into contentious trips to the Southern border.

The Department of Homeland Security canceled congressional Democrats’ scheduled tour of a border facility at the end of August due to improprieties during a previous trip including refusal to comply with instructions.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the House Oversight Committee’s ranking minority member, sent a letter to committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., confirming his aides were “rude,” disrupted normal operations, overstayed scheduled visits and refused to leave, and crossed into bordering Mexico without consulting the State Department.

The White House and Customs and Border Patrol officials denounced Ocasio–Cortez as a liar for saying illegal immigrant detainees were forced to drink out of a toilet and were subject to systemic cruelty that resembled Nazi concentration camps.

Officials said the freshman congresswoman screamed at immigration officers and made threatening gestures during a visit to a facility in El Paso on July 2.

Ocasio–Cortez is suspected of staging a photo-op at a Tornillo, Texas, tent city detention center near the Mexico border for illegal immigrant children.

She posted photos showing her in extreme emotional distress she said was triggered by the suffering she saw on the other side of a chain-link fence. Photos later surfaced calling her story into question. They showed a mostly empty parking lot on the other side of the fence and no tents anywhere in sight.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, has come under fire for sending her staff into Mexico and coaching immigrants to retry obtaining asylum for which they previously did not qualify.

Some have raised the possibility that could be illegal, and subverting federal law-enforcement merits a review, the Washington Examiner reported.