Stand up for Accountability and Rule of Law in the face of Unprecedented Stonewalling and Cover-ups
Vote Yes on McGovern Resolution H. Res. 430 – Authorizing Subpoena Enforcement Litigation
Monday, 3:00 PM Deadline to Cosponsor
Dear Democratic Colleague:
On Tuesday, we expect the House to take up Chairman McGovern’s resolution on civil enforcement of committee subpoenas in court.
The resolution builds on the House Judiciary Committee’s contempt finding against Attorney General Barr. The resolution authorizes the Committee to seek civil enforcement of its subpoenas against: (i) Attorney General Barr requiring him to provide Congress with the key evidence underlying the Mueller Report as well as the unredacted report itself; and (ii) former White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn, II requiring him to provide documents and appear for testimony.
The resolution further affirms that all committee chairs, when authorized by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, retain the ability to seek civil enforcement of their own subpoenas. The resolution adds that when committees proceed to court, they have any and all necessary authority under Article I of the Constitution, ensuring that they have the maximum range of legal authority available to them. For example, on other key issues—such as the Department of Justice defying a subpoena to produce counter-intelligence documents relating to Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, or the Commerce Department defying a subpoena to produce documents relating to the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census—the committees can enforce these subpoenas without a floor vote.
This resolution is necessary due to blanket unprecedented cover-up and stonewalling by the Trump Administration, with President Trump himself declaring “we are fighting all subpoenas,” “I don’t want people testifying,” and “no do-overs.” The Trump Administration has deployed a range of legal roadblocks to obstruct and prevent legitimate committee oversight, including spurious assertions of executive privilege, absolute immunity, and lack of legitimate legislative purpose.
This resolution ensures the House can conduct meaningful oversight on issues critical to Americans’ lives while continuing to deliver on pocketbook issues. The President’s disregard for congressional oversight allows the Administration to cover-up his many disastrous policy decisions such as: attacking affordable healthcare coverage for millions of Americans including those with pre-existing conditions, tearing apart vulnerable immigrant families, misappropriating military funds for his ill-conceived border wall, and rolling back landmark civil rights protections for minorities.
The information subpoenaed by various congressional committees, including documents and testimony, is information to which Congress is constitutionally entitled and that past Administrations have routinely provided. President Trump has prevented fact witnesses referenced in the Mueller Report from testifying or providing documents to Congress, even though the Report detailed the Russian government’s sustained attacks on our elections; over 170 contacts between President Trump’s campaign and associates and agents of the Russian government; as well as numerous efforts by President Trump to obstruct justice and thwart House investigations scrutinizing his own conduct and that of his Administration.
If you would like additional information or would like to cosponsor, please email Elizabeth.McElvein@mail.house.gov or call x53951.
Chairman James McGovern, House Committee on the Rules
Chairman Jerrold Nadler, House Committee on the Judiciary
Chairwoman Maxine Waters, House Committee on Financial Services
Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, House Committee on Oversight and Reform
Chairman Richard E. Neal, House Committee on Ways and Means
Chairman Adam Schiff, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Chairman Eliot L. Engel, House Committee on Foreign Affairs