The White House is telling federal agencies to ignore Democratic lawmakers’ oversight requests in order to keep them from gaining information that could be used against President Trump, Politico reported Friday.
“You have the Republicans leading the House, the Senate and the White House,” a White House official reportedly said. “I don’t think you’d have the Democrats responding to every minority member request if they were in the same position.”
White House ethics lawyer Uttam Dhillon reportedly gave the directive at meetings with top officials from various government departments earlier this year.
A White House spokeswoman reportedly said the administration’s policy is “to accommodate the requests of chairmen, regardless of their political party.”
“[We also respond to] all non-oversight inquiries, including the Senate’s inquiries for purposes of providing advice and consent on nominees, without regard to the political party of the requester,” she said.
“Multiple agencies have, in fact, responded to minority member requests. No agencies have been directed not to respond to minority requests.”
A senior Democratic aide told Politico that of 225 oversight letters Senate Democrats have sent the administration since January, most have received no response.
“When it comes to almost anything we’ve done at a federal agency, very close to 100 percent of those we haven’t gotten anything back,” a second senior Democratic aide said. “And at the White House it’s definitely 100 percent.”