Chaffetz Surprised By Continued Stonewalling Under Trump Administration
6/19/2017 9:39 AM
Outgoing House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has indicated he has continued to face difficulty obtaining documents from federal agencies that are crucial to committee investigations despite having a fellow Republican in the White House.
In an interview with WJLA-TV in Washington, Chaffetz suggested the level of transparency has been the same under President Donald Trump as it was under former President Barack Obama.
"The reality is, sadly, I don't see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration," Chaffetz said.
He added, "I thought there would be this, these floodgates would open up with all the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon."
Chaffetz, who plans to resign from Congress at the end of the month, expressed particular frustration with Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding the release of documents.
"In many ways, it's almost worse because we're getting nothing, and that's terribly frustrating and, with all due respect, the attorney general has not changed at all," Chaffetz said.
He added, "I find him to be worse than what I saw with Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. I just, that's my experience, and that's not what I expected."
Chaffetz said the committee continues to have trouble obtaining documents related to investigations of Hillary Clinton's private email server, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, and the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.
The Utah Congressman suggested the resistance comes from the lower levels of the agencies and that senior level officials and the president would like the documents to be released.
"Within the bowels of the organization, they just seem to circle the wagons and think, 'Oh we can just wait you out. We can just wait you out,'" Chaffetz said.
Congressman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who led the House Benghazi investigation, has been selected to replace Chaffetz as House Oversight Committee Chairman.
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