‘Obstruction, Plain and Simple’: Congressman Reads Lengthy List of Document Requests That Have Been Ignored

At a Tuesday hearing setting the rules for debate ahead of a House vote on articles of impeachment, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the Chairman of the House Rules Committee, read aloud a lengthy list of document and witness testimony requests the Trump administration has outright ignored.

McGovern said he wanted to point this out so the record would reflect that there is evidence to support House Democrats’ charge that President Donald Trump has obstructed Congress:

Let me just point out for the record, we’ve requested several documents and testimony from members of this administration, and what has the president’s administration done in response? Nothing. I think it’s important for people to understand just for the record, requests for documents from the State Department: ignored. Requests for documents from the Department of Defense: ignored. Requests for documents from the vice president: ignored. Requests for documents from Giuliani associate Lev Parnas: ignored. Requests for documents from Giuliani associate Igor Fruman: ignored. Requests for documents from the White House: ignored. Requests for documents from Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer: ignored. Requests for documents from former National Security Advisor John Bolton: ignored. Requests for testimony from White House chief of state Mick Mulvaney: ignored.

McGovern then held up a piece of paper marked up in red.

“Here’s a list of all the requests that have been made. The red marks are basically — that demonstrate noncompliance, that they were ignored. I think this is what you would call obstruction, plain and simple,” he said. “In fact, the only people that have complied with our request have been patriotic servants, many of them defying instructions that they not comply.”

Before yielding his time, McGovern repeated — at length — the allegations against President Trump. He then urged his colleagues to defend the Constitution.

“I want to remind everybody why we’re here today. The president abused the power of his office for his own personal gain and obstructed a congressional investigation to look into that conduct. How did he do that? He withheld aid from a country under siege by Russia to leverage help for his political campaign,” McGovern said. President Trump’s abuse of power have endangered our free elections and national security remains an ongoing threat to them both. He showed us a pattern of inviting foreign interference into our elections and trying to cover it up twice, and he’s threatened to do it again.”

“With the 2020 elections fast approaching, we must act with a sense of urgency to protect our democracy to defend our Constitution. On our first day as members of Congress, we took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he concluded. “I did not swear allegiance to a political party, I swore allegiance to the Constitution, and I hope all my colleagues would do the same.”

[Image via CNN screengrab]

Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.

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