ICYMI: Dems Demand Answers From Trump Administration After Two Weeks of Chaos -- Nearly A Dozen Letters Sent

Senate Dems on Senate Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Issued Series of Congressional Oversight Letters to the White House and Relevant Agencies Demanding Answers to Vital Questions Around Events over The Last Two Weeks Letters Include a Requests For An Assessment Of Intelligence Damage After Reports that POTUS Disclosed Classified Information To Russian Foreign Minister And Information On The White House’s Compliance With The Presidential Records Act, Which Vests Re

May 22, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Over the last two weeks of chaos, Senate Democrats have sent nearly a dozen letters to the White House or relevant Administrative agencies regarding the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the President’s meeting in the oval office with Russian officials, and the President’s tweets suggesting there may be tapes of his conversations with former Director Comey. The letters, sent by leaders and members of the Senate Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and Government Affairs and Intelligence, exemplify the efforts by Senate Democrats to exercise their constitutional Congressional oversight duties on behalf the American people, despite the news of the day. 

“Two weeks of chaos will not deter Senate Democrats from relentlessly pursuing the facts,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “We are committed to uncovering the truth and will do our job on behalf the American people and exercise our congressional oversight authority and work to improve the lives of Americans regardless of the news of the day.”

Summaries of the ten letters and links to the PDFs can be found below:

  • May 19, 2017 letter from Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Committee on Homeland Security and Government, to David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regarding the Trump White House’s compliance with the Presidential Records Act, in the context of President Trump’s May 12 tweets suggesting there may be recordings of the President’s conversation with former FBI Director James Comey. Senator Peters outlined a number of questions, including if NARA is currently aware of any electronic recording systems within the Oval office, if the Trump White House have ever sought technical assistance from NARA around electronic recording systems and if the White House has ever sought to dispose of bulk electronic records.
  • May 19, 2017 letter from Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Committee on Homeland Security and Government, to Donald McGahn, Counsel to the President of the United States, regarding the Trump White House’s compliance with the Presidential Records Act, in the context of President Trump’s May 12 tweets suggesting there may be recordings of the President’s conversation with former FBI Director James Comey. Specifically, Senator Peters outlined a number of questions for the White House Counsel to answer, including if the President’s conversations are being surreptitiously recorded by or at the behest of the President himself of someone acting on his behalf, if the White House is currently employing record management systems, and if any White House staff have even received training or guidance from NARA with respect to the Presidential Records Act.
  • May 18, 2017 letter from Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Gary Peters (D-MI) to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats requesting assessment of intelligence damage after reports POTUS disclosed classified information to Russian foreign minister.
  • May 17, 2017 letter from Senator Tammy Duckworth to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, expressing concern at the President’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his potentially inappropriate decision to share highly classified information with the Russian government, and questioning whether the chaos coming out of the Trump White House is undermining Secretary Mattis’ stated goal of developing a coherent, comprehensive U.S. strategy to confront Russian aggression. 
  • May 17, 2017 letter from Judiciary Committee Leaders Senator Dianne Feinstein, Sheldon Whitehouse, Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham to White House Counsel Donald McGahn seeking copies of reported Comey memos and possible Trump tapes.
  • May 16, 207 letter from Senators Martin Heinrich and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz calling for an investigation into Attorney General Jeff Sessions and whether he violated his recusal from Russian investigation for his involvement in firing of Director Comey.
  • May 12, 2017 letter from Senator Feinstein to White House Counsel Don McGahn calling on the White House to preserve any recordings of conversations between President Trump and FBI Director Comey.
  • May 12, 2017 letter from Senators Peters, Carper, Hassan and Harris to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horwitz asking him to investigate into whether there was political interference in the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian agents to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.
  • May 11, 2017 letter from Senators Leahy and Shaheen to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asking for the specifics on FBI Director Comey's reported request for resources and whether this request was communicated to the White House.
  • May 10, 2017 letter from Senator Durbin to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Director of national Intelligence Dan Coats, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey calling for a detailed accounting of the Trump  Administrations assessment and planned response to reports of Russian cyberattacks on the French presidential election.
  • May 10, 2017 letter from Leader Schumer to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with a series of questions on his role in the President’s firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey.