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115th Congress }                                                { Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session   }                                                { 115-83

======================================================================
 
   RESOLUTION OF INQUIRY REQUESTING THE PRESIDENT, AND DIRECTING THE 
 ATTORNEY GENERAL, TO TRANSMIT, RESPECTIVELY, CERTAIN DOCUMENTS TO THE 
  HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RELATING TO CERTAIN COMMUNICATIONS BY THE 
                     PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                                _______
                                

   April 6, 2017.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                             ADVERSE REPORT

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 203]

                  [Including Committee Cost Estimate]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
resolution (H. Res. 203) of inquiry requesting the President, 
and directing the Attorney General, to transmit, respectively, 
certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to 
certain communications by the President of the United States, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the resolution as amended not be 
agreed to.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     6
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     6
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     6
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     7
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     7
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     7
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     7
Dissenting Views.................................................     7

                             The Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
following:

That the President is requested, and the Attorney General of the United 
States is directed, to transmit, respectively (in a manner appropriate 
to classified information, if the President or the Attorney General 
determines appropriate), to the House of Representatives, not later 
than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, copies 
of any document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication 
in their possessions, or any portion of any such communication, that 
refers or relates to the following:
          (1) President Donald J. Trump's statement, communicated via 
        Twitter on March 4, 2017, at 3:35 a.m.: ``Terrible! Just found 
        out that Obama had my `wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before 
        the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!'';
          (2) President Trump's statement, communicated via Twitter on 
        March 4, 2017, at 3:49 a.m.: ``Is it legal for a sitting 
        President to be `wire tapping' a race for president prior to an 
        election?' Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!'';
          (3) President Trump's statement, communicated via Twitter on 
        March 4, 2017, at 3:52 a.m.: ``I'd bet a good lawyer could make 
        a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping 
        my phones in October, just prior to Election!''; or
          (4) President Trump's statement, communicated via Twitter on 
        March 4, 2017, at 4:02 a.m.: ``How low has President Obama gone 
        to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election 
        process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    House Resolution 203 is a non-binding resolution of inquiry 
that requests that the Trump administration provide the House 
of Representatives with documents related to certain 
communications by the President regarding surveillance at Trump 
Tower.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Resolutions of inquiry, if properly drafted, are given 
privileged parliamentary status in the House. This means that, 
under certain circumstances, a resolution of inquiry can be 
considered on the House floor even if the committee to which it 
was referred has not ordered the resolution reported and the 
majority party's leadership has not scheduled it for 
consideration. Clause 7 of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives requires the committee to which the 
resolution is referred to act on the resolution within 14 
legislative days, or a motion to discharge the committee from 
consideration is considered privileged on the floor of the 
House. In calculating the days available for committee 
consideration, the day of introduction and the day of discharge 
are not counted.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Wm. Holmes Brown, et al., House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, 
Precedents, and Procedures of the House ch. 49, Sec. 6, p. 834 (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the Rules and precedents of the House, a resolution 
of inquiry is a means by which the House may request 
information from the President or the head of one of the 
executive departments. According to Deschler's Precedents, it 
is a ``simple resolution making a direct request or demand of 
the President or the head of an executive department to furnish 
the House of Representatives with specific factual information 
in the possession of the executive branch.''\2\ Such 
resolutions must ask for facts, documents, or specific 
information; they may not be used to request an opinion or 
require an investigation.\3\ Resolutions of inquiry are not 
akin to subpoenas, they have no legal force, and thus 
compliance by the Executive Branch with the House's request for 
information is purely voluntary.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\7 Deschler's Precedents of the United States House of 
Representatives, H. Doc. No. 94-661, 94th Cong., 2d Sess., ch. 24, 
Sec. 8.
    \3\A resolution that seeks more than factual information does not 
enjoy privileged status. Brown, supra note 1, at 833-34.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to a study conducted by the Congressional 
Research Service (CRS), between 1947 and 2011, 290 resolutions 
of inquiry were introduced in the House.\4\ Within this period, 
CRS found that ``two periods in particular, 1971-1975 and 2003-
2006, saw the highest levels of activity on resolutions of 
inquiry'' and that the ``Committees on Armed Services, Foreign 
Affairs, and the Judiciary have received the largest share of 
references.''\5\ CRS further found that ``in recent Congresses, 
such resolutions have overwhelmingly become a tool of the 
minority party in the House.''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Christopher M. Davis, Congressional Research Service, 
Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of Their Use in the House, 1947-
2011 at i (2012).
    \5\Id.
    \6\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A Committee has a number of choices after a resolution of 
inquiry is referred to it. It may vote on the resolution as is 
or it may amend it, and it may report the resolution favorably, 
unfavorably, or with no recommendation. The fact that a 
committee reports a resolution of inquiry adversely does not 
necessarily mean that the committee opposes looking into the 
matter. In the past, resolutions of inquiry have frequently 
been reported adversely for several reasons. The two most 
common reasons are substantial compliance and competing 
investigations.
    House Resolution 203 requests information related to 
statements communicated via Twitter by the President with 
regard to the alleged surveillance of individuals at Trump 
Tower. As with the two other resolutions of inquiry that the 
Committee has considered this Congress, this resolution in no 
way compels the production of information. Moreover, as with 
the previous resolutions, this resolution comes on top of 
already existing investigations into the matter by both the 
House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
    This resolution is unnecessary and premature given that 
committees in both the House and Senate are already 
investigating and have the full authority to compel the 
production of any needed documents that are not already being 
provided to Congress by the administration and the intelligence 
community. The House does not need to insert a non-binding 
resolution of inquiry into the middle of at least two ongoing 
investigations into this matter.
    Furthermore, given that the information sought in this 
resolution is almost certainly classified, the overly broad 
request contained in the resolution would appear to be 
inappropriate. The resolution requests ``any document, record, 
memo, correspondence, or other communication . . . or any 
portion of any such communication, that refers or relates to 
[the President's tweets regarding Trump Tower being 
wiretapped].'' The only limit placed on this request is that 
the communications be in the possession of the President or the 
Attorney General. It is questionable whether such a fishing 
expedition would be appropriate under normal circumstances, but 
given that the documents sought here are likely classified and 
that the two Intelligence Committees are already investigating 
this matter, this broad and unspecific request seems wholly 
inappropriate. This would especially seem to be the case given 
the apparent mishandling of classified information that 
surrounds the materials sought by this and the other 
resolutions of inquiry that have been before the Committee this 
Congress.
    As the Committee has stated with regard to this and the 
other resolutions of inquiry it has considered this Congress 
and made clear in its oversight plan, the Committee is 
committed to conducting robust oversight of the Executive 
Branch. However, in conducting any such oversight, the 
Committee will act in an objective manner using the more 
precise and powerful tools it possesses and not through 
politicized resolutions of inquiry. Accordingly, the Committee 
voted to report this resolution unfavorably to the House.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H. Res. 
203.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 29, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered House Resolution 203 unfavorably reported, with an 
amendment, by a roll call vote of 19 to 15, a quorum being 
present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following roll call votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H. Res. 184.
    1. Amendment #1, offered by Mr. Raskin, to expand the scope 
of the resolution to include documents related to the Chairman 
of the House Intelligence Committee's White House meeting and 
announcement regarding the incidental collection of information 
about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. The 
amendment was defeated by a roll call vote of 11 to 18.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................              X
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................              X
Mr. Smith (TX).................................
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................              X
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................              X
Mr. King (IA)..................................              X
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................              X
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................              X
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................              X
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................
Mr. Chaffetz (UT)..............................              X
Mr. Marino (PA)................................
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................              X
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................              X
Mr. Farenthold (TX)............................              X
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................              X
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................              X
Mr. Buck (CO)..................................              X
Mr. Ratcliffe (TX).............................
Ms. Roby (AL)..................................              X
Mr. Gaetz (FL).................................
Mr. Johnson (LA)...............................              X
Mr. Biggs (AZ).................................              X
 
Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........      X
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................      X
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................      X
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................      X
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................      X
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................      X
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................      X
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................      X
Mr. Swalwell (CA)..............................
Mr. Lieu (CA)..................................      X
Mr. Raskin (MD)................................      X
Ms. Jayapal (WA)...............................
Mr. Schneider (IL).............................      X
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................     11      18
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Motion to report H. Res. 203 unfavorably to the House. 
Approved 19 to 15.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................      X
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................      X
Mr. Smith (TX).................................
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................      X
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................      X
Mr. King (IA)..................................      X
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................      X
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................      X
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................      X
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................      X
Mr. Chaffetz (UT)..............................      X
Mr. Marino (PA)................................
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................      X
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................      X
Mr. Farenthold (TX)............................      X
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................      X
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................      X
Mr. Buck (CO)..................................      X
Mr. Ratcliffe (TX).............................
Ms. Roby (AL)..................................      X
Mr. Gaetz (FL).................................
Mr. Johnson (LA)...............................      X
Mr. Biggs (AZ).................................      X
 
Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........              X
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................              X
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................              X
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................              X
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................              X
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................              X
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................              X
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................              X
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................              X
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................              X
Mr. Swalwell (CA)..............................              X
Mr. Lieu (CA)..................................              X
Mr. Raskin (MD)................................              X
Ms. Jayapal (WA)...............................              X
Mr. Schneider (IL).............................              X
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................     19      15
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this resolution does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(d) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that 
implementing this non-binding resolution would not result in 
any significant costs. The Congressional Budget Office did not 
provide a cost estimate for the resolution.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H. Res. 203 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H. Res. 203 specifically 
directs to be completed no specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. Sec.  551.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H. Res. 
203 requests certain documents from the Trump administration 
related to communications by the President of the United States 
regarding surveillance at Trump Tower.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H. Res. 203 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the resolution as 
reported by the Committee.
    House Resolution 203, a non-binding resolution of inquiry, 
requests that the President and the Attorney General of the 
United States transmit certain documents and communications to 
the House of Representatives related to communications by the 
President regarding surveillance at Trump Tower.

                            Dissenting Views

    On March 4, 2017, President Donald J. Trump claimed via 
Twitter that ``President Obama was tapping my phones in 
October, just prior to Election!''\1\ He directed the statement 
at President Obama personally: ``How low has President Obama 
gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election 
process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!''\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, Mar. 4, 
2017, 3:52 AM.
    \2\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, Mar. 4, 
2017, 4:02 AM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is no evidence to support this claim.
    The accusation has been denied by former President Obama; 
former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; Speaker 
Paul Ryan (R-WI); Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman of the 
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; and Representative 
Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman of the House Permanent Select 
Committee on Intelligence.\3\ In recent testimony, Federal 
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey said there 
is ``no information'' to back the President's charge.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Peter Baker & Charlie Savage, Trump Digs In on Wiretap, No 
Matter Who Says Differently, N.Y. Times, Mar. 16, 2017.
    \4\Russian Active Measures Investigation: Open Hearing before the 
H. Permanent Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 115th Cong. (2017) (remarks of 
Director James B. Comey, Federal Bureau of Investigation).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nevertheless, the White House stands by the President's 
claim.\5\ The Administration's reckless defense of the 
President's ``wiretap'' accusation has, in a few short weeks, 
further undermined the credibility of the Administration, 
undercut relationships with one of our closest allies, and 
diminished the standing of the House of Representatives. Our 
Committee has primary jurisdiction over the statutes that 
authorize government surveillance. If there is proof to support 
the President's claim, it should fall to the House Committee on 
the Judiciary to find it. If there is none--and there almost 
certainly is none--it falls to our Members to correct an 
Administration that seems oblivious to the harm it has caused.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ See Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, 3/16/2017, #25, The White House, Mar. 16, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced H. Res. 203 
on March 16, 2017. The Resolution directs the White House and 
the Department of Justice to provide the House with information 
related to the President's allegation. Rather than support the 
Resolution and put the burden on the Administration to explain 
its actions, the Majority chose to adversely report it and 
block it from further consideration in the House.

                     DESCRIPTION OF THE LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 203 directs President Trump and U.S. Attorney 
General Jeff Sessions to transmit to the House, not later than 
14 days after enactment of the resolution, copies of any 
document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication 
of the White House or the Department of Justice, respectively, 
that refers or relates to:

    (1)  President Trump's statement, communicated via Twitter 
on March 4, 2017, at 3:35 AM: ``Terrible! Just found out that 
Obama had my `wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the 
victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.''

    (2)  President Trump's statement, communicated via Twitter 
on March 4, 2017, at 3:49 AM: ``Is it legal for a sitting 
President to be `wire tapping' [sic] a race for president prior 
to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!''

    (3)  President Trump's statement, communicated via Twitter 
on March 4, 2017, at 3:52 AM: ``I'd bet a good lawyer could 
make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was 
tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!''

    (4)  President Trump's statement, communicated via Twitter 
on March 4, 2017, at 4:02 AM: ``How low has President Obama 
gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election 
process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!''

    H. Res. 203 expressly permits the White House and the 
Department of Justice to transmit this information in a 
classified format if necessary.

                           GENERAL BACKGROUND

    Under the rules and precedents of the House, a resolution 
of inquiry is used to obtain information from the executive 
branch. Directed at the President of the United States or the 
head of a Cabinet-level agency, a resolution of inquiry 
requests facts within the control of the executive branch.\6\ 
As a ``simple resolution,'' designated by ``H. Res.,'' a 
resolution of inquiry does not carry the force of law. 
``Compliance by the executive branch with the House's request 
is voluntary, resting largely on a sense of comity between co-
equal branches of government and a recognition of the necessity 
for Congress to be well-informed as it legislates.''\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Christopher M. Davis, Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of 
Their Use in the House, 1947-2011, Cong. Research Service, May 15, 2012 
(R40879).
    \7\Id. at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    House Rules afford resolutions of inquiry a privileged 
parliamentary status. A Member files a resolution of inquiry 
like any other legislation. The resolution is then referred to 
the proper committee of jurisdiction. If the committee does not 
report the resolution to the House within 14 legislative days 
of its introduction, however, a motion to discharge the 
resolution from committee can be made on the House floor.\8\ In 
practice, then, even when the Majority opposes a resolution of 
inquiry, a committee may mark it up and report it--perhaps 
adversely--to prevent its sponsor from making a privileged 
motion to call up the legislation on the House floor.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\House Rule XIII, clause 7.
    \9\Davis, supra A note 6, at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   REASONS WHY H. RES. 203 IS NEEDED

    H. Res. 203 gives the Committee an opportunity to hold 
President Trump accountable for his ``wiretapping'' claim. 
Unless the burden is placed on the President to produce 
evidence to support his accusation, it seems unlikely that the 
White House will acknowledge the increasingly obvious truth: 
President Trump's claim is simply false.

I. President Trump has a history of making obviously false statements

    As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump displayed a 
remarkable proclivity for false and misleading statements.\10\ 
That behavior has continued into his presidency. According to 
one report, since President Trump has been in office, he has 
made 338 false or misleading claims.\11\ At the time of this 
writing, out of the 76 days President Trump has occupied the 
White House, there have been only three days so far without his 
making a false statement on record.\12\ Some of these claims 
stand out--both as odd preoccupations for a sitting president, 
and as comments that diverge from easily confirmed facts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\The 2016 Election Fact Checker, Wash. Post, Nov. 3, 2016.; see, 
e.g., Michell Ye Hee Lee, Trump's false claim that the murder rate is 
the ``highest it's been in 45 years,'' Wash. Post, Nov. 3, 2016; 
Michell Ye Hee Lee, Fact-checking two false claims by Trump alleging 
widespread voter fraud, Wash. Post, Oct. 19, 2016; Glenn Kessler, 
Trump's claim that a racial discrimination suit was ``brought against 
many real estate firms,'' Wash. Post, Sept. 28, 2016; Glenn Kessler, 
Too good to check: Sean Hannity's tale of a Trump rescue, Wash. Post, 
Aug. 11, 2016.
    \11\100 Days of Trump Claims, Wash. Post, Feb. 21, 2017 (last 
visited Apr. 5, 2017).
    \12\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 21, 2017, in a speech delivered before the CIA 
Memorial Wall, President Trump claimed that ``a million, 
million and a half people'' had attended his inauguration the 
day before.\13\ As to reports of substantially smaller crowds, 
he said: ``The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to 
the Washington Monument, was packed. So we caught them, and we 
caught them in a beauty. And I think they are going to pay a 
big price.''\14\ Later that evening, White House Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer argued that the media had deliberately 
misled the public. ``This was the largest audience to ever 
witness an inauguration--period.''\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Office of the Press Secretary, Remarks by President Trump and 
Vice President Pence at CIA Headquarters, The White House, Jan. 21, 
2017.
    \14\Id.
    \15\Office of the Press Secretary, Statement by Press Secretary 
Sean Spicer, The White House, Jan. 21, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Each of the President's arguments in support of this claim 
was quickly debunked. Mr. Spicer argued that ``[t]his was the 
first time in our nation's history that floor coverings have 
been used to protect the grass on the Mall. That had the effect 
of highlighting any areas where people were not standing.''\16\ 
Floor coverings have been in use since 2013.\17\ Mr. Spicer 
claimed that ``[t]his was also the first time that fencing and 
magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds 
of thousands of people from being able to access the 
Mall.''\18\ According to the Congressional Research Service, 
fencing and magnetometers have been a standard part of 
inauguration security since 2009.\19\ Mr. Spicer claimed that 
ridership on local public transportation had outpaced President 
Obama's second inauguration, an assertion that was quickly 
disputed by the Washington Metro Area Transportation 
Authority.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Id.
    \17\Plan to Protect National Mall Grass This Inauguration, NBC 
Washington, Jan. 17, 2013.
    \18\Office of the Press Secretary, Statement by Press Secretary 
Sean Spicer, The White House, Jan. 21, 2017.
    \19\Inauguration Security: Operations, Appropriations, and Issues 
for Congress, Cong. Research Service, R42867, Jan. 11, 2017.
    \20\Luz Lazo, Metro Inauguration Day trips top 500,000, but still 
lowest since 2005, Wash. Post, Jan. 21, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although it can be difficult to estimate crowd sizes on the 
National Mall, side-by-side images of the 2017 and 2009 
inauguration ceremonies show significantly larger crowds at 
President Obama's first inauguration.\21\ On March 7, 2017, the 
National Park Service released aerial photographs that appear 
to confirm this comparison.\22\ Even if the President were 
correct, and 1.5 million people attended his inauguration--even 
if Mr. Spicer's lower estimate was accurate, and 720,000 people 
filled the space between the Capitol and the Washington 
Monument--those figures would be smaller than the 1.8 million 
people estimated to have attended President Obama's first 
inaugural.\23\ One wonders why the White House made this claim 
in the first place.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Betsy Klein, Comparing Donald Trump and Barack Obama's 
inaugural crowd sizes, CNN, Jan. 21, 2017.
    \22\Katie Reilly, Official NPS Photos Show President Trump's 
Inauguration Was Smaller Than Obama's, Time, Mar. 7, 2017.
    \23\Linda Qiu, Donald Trump had biggest inaugural crowd ever? 
Metrics don't show it, Politifact, Jan. 21, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump received 304 votes in the electoral 
college. In 2012, President Obama received 332 electoral votes. 
In 2008, President Obama won with 365 electoral votes. 
Presented with this information at a recent press conference, 
President Trump suggested, ``[w]ell, I'm talking about 
Republican.''\24\ When told that President George H. W. Bush 
won in 1988 with 426 electoral votes, President Trump demurred: 
``[w]ell, no, I was told--I was given that information. I don't 
know. I was just given. We had a very, very big margin.''\25\ 
The President declined to answer a follow-up question: ``why 
should Americans trust you . . . when you're providing 
information that's fake?''\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Office of the Press Secretary, Remarks by President Trump in 
Press Conference, The White House, Feb. 16, 2017.
    \25\Id.
    \26\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since taking office, President Trump has also repeated the 
claim he would have won the popular vote but for millions of 
illegal votes.\27\ In the days after the election, President 
Trump stated: ``In addition to winning the Electoral College in 
a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions 
of people who voted illegally.''\28\ In a televised interview, 
he suggested that, out of the three to five million illegal 
votes cast, ``none of `em come to me. None of `em come to me. 
They would all be for the other side.''\29\ There is no 
evidence to support the claim that millions of people voted 
illegally in the recent election--let alone that each of those 
millions of votes were cast for Secretary Hillary Clinton.\30\ 
Several senior Republicans--including Senators John McCain (R-
AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)--have urged the President to stop 
repeating the baseless theory.\31\ Nevertheless, according to 
the White House, the President ``believes what he 
believes.''\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\Abby Phillip & Mike DeBonis, Without evidence, Trump tells 
lawmakers 3 million to 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular 
vote, Wash. Post, Jan. 23, 2017.
    \28\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, Nov. 27, 
2016, 3:30 PM.
    \29\Transcript: ABC News anchor David Muir interviews president 
Trump, ABC News, Jan. 25, 2017.
    \30\Glenn Kessler, Donald Trump's bogus claim that millions of 
people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton, Wash. Post, Nov. 27, 2016; 
Knock the Vote: Zero evidence has been put forth to support the widely 
parroted claim that 3 million ``illegal aliens'' voted in the 2016 
presidential election, Snopes.com, Nov. 23, 2016; Allison Graves, Fact-
check: Did 3 million undocumented immigrants vote in this year's 
election?, Politifact, Nov. 18, 2016.
    \31\Frank Thorp & Corky Siemaszko, Lindsey Graham to Trump: Stop 
Claiming ``Illegals'' Cost You Popular Vote, NBC News, Jan. 24, 2017.
    \32\David Jackson, Spicer: Trump believes voter fraud claim despite 
lack of evidence, USA Today, Jan. 24, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After repeated debunking, these claims merely undermine the 
credibility of the Trump Administration. Other claims--like the 
President's ``wiretapping'' accusation--have the potential to 
do real and lasting damage to our national security.

II. President Trump has offered no evidence to support his 
        ``wiretapping'' claim--but his reckless defense keeps changing

    President Trump has offered no evidence to substantiate his 
claim that President Obama orchestrated a ``Nixon/Watergate'' 
plot to conduct unlawful surveillance on Trump Tower prior to 
the election--but the manner in which the White House defends 
that claim has changed dramatically over a short period of 
time.
    The President made his wiretapping accusation early in the 
morning of March 4, 2017. On March 5, White House Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement: ``Reports concerning 
potentially politically motivated investigations immediately 
ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling.''\33\ Mr. Spicer 
said that the President had requested an investigation into the 
matter by the congressional intelligence committees, and that 
``[n]either the White House nor the President will comment 
further until such oversight is conducted.''\34\ On March 8, 
Mr. Spicer broke from his ``no comment'' statement to clarify 
that, although Trump Tower may have been the target of 
surveillance, ``there is no reason . . . that we have to think 
the President is the target of any investigation.''\35\ On 
March 9, Mr. Spicer backtracked, stating that although the 
White House was ``not aware'' of any investigation into the 
President, he did not know if one existed.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \33\Office of the Press Secretary, Statement from the Press 
Secretary, The White House, Mar. 5, 2017.
    \34\Id.
    \35\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 8, 2017.
    \36\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 9, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 13, Mr. Spicer attempted to broaden the meaning of 
the President's initial statement: ``I think if you look at the 
President's tweet, he said very clearly `wiretapping' in 
quotes'' and ``that spans a whole host of surveillance types of 
options.''\37\ On March 14, Mr. Spicer stretched the original 
claim even further. Not only did the President use the word 
wiretap ``in quotes,'' but there has been ``significant 
reporting about surveillance techniques that have existed 
throughout the 2016 election.''\38\ On the evening of March 15, 
in a televised interview, President Trump was asked why he did 
not wait until he had evidence of wiretapping at Trump Tower 
before making a public statement. The President responded:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 13, 2017.
    \38\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 14, 2017.

        [I]f you take a look at some of the things written 
        about wiretapping and eavesdropping . . . and don't 
        forget I say wiretapping, those words were in quotes. 
        That really covers--because wiretapping is pretty old-
        fashioned stuff--but that really covers surveillance 
        and many other things. And nobody ever talks about the 
        fact that it was in quotes, but that's a very important 
        thing. But wiretap covers a lot of different things. I 
        think you're going to find some very interesting items 
        coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \39\Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox News, broadcast Mar. 15, 2017 
(interview with President Donald Trump).

    At a March 16 press briefing, Mr. Spicer spent several 
minutes reading from a list of press clips--some from 
conservative pundits, others from articles about government 
surveillance wholly unrelated to the President's claim.\40\ ``I 
think the President's been very clear when he talks about this, 
and he talked about it last night. So we talked about 
wiretapping, he meant surveillance and that there have been 
incidents that have occurred.''\41\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 16, 2017.
    \41\Id. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 31, Mr. Spicer tried a new approach. Citing to Dr. 
Evelyn Farkas, a foreign policy expert who left the Obama 
Administration in 2015, Mr. Spicer circled back to something 
like the President's original thesis: he claimed that Dr. 
Farkas had ``raised serious concerns on whether or not there 
was an organized and widespread effort by the Obama 
administration to use and leak highly sensitive intelligence 
information for political purposes.''\42\ In fact, Dr. Farkas 
had raised serious concerns about the Trump Administration 
burying evidence related to the Russian government and the 
Trump campaign. She stated, ``I had a fear that somehow that 
information would disappear with the senior people who left so 
it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy.''\43\ In context, 
Dr. Farkas was responding to a report that the Obama White 
House had ``scrambled to spread information about Russian 
efforts to undermine the presidential election . . . to ensure 
that such meddling isn't duplicated in future American or 
European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence 
for government investigators.''\44\ Given the Trump 
Administration's Russia-related antics, the concerns expressed 
by Dr. Farkas seem well-placed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 31, 2017.
    \43\Morning Joe, MSNBC, broadcast Mar. 2, 2017 (comments of Dr. 
Evelyn Farkas).
    \44\Matthew Rosenberg et al., Obama Administration Rushed to 
Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The President's initial accusation remains on the record: 
``I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact 
that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just 
prior to Election!''\45\ His characterization of that claim has 
shifted--from the certainty of a ``Nixon/Watergate'' operation 
ordered by his predecessor to mere ``[r]eports concerning 
potentially politically motivated investigations.'' His 
Administration has gone from ``reviewing'' a serious legal 
matter to litigating the importance of the quotation marks 
around the word ``wiretap.'' Absent any actual proof, the White 
House has attempted to appropriate a slew of opinion pieces and 
unrelated reporting as evidence that some kind of surveillance 
happened, even if the President's literal accusation is untrue.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, Mar. 4, 
2017, 3:52 AM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is a simpler explanation for the President's 
unfounded claim. During the markup of H. Res. 203, 
Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) observed:

        the President of the United States made a very serious 
        allegation that Trump Tower was wiretapped. If that 
        were true . . . it would mean that U.S. intelligence 
        officials or U.S. agents investigating criminal 
        behavior believe there were either agents of a foreign 
        power at Trump Tower or a criminal activity. And that 
        they convinced a Federal judge of that, either an 
        independent FISA Court judge appointed by Chief Justice 
        Roberts or a Federal District Court judge, all with 
        life tenures, who concluded, ``Yes, there was probable 
        cause that there was criminal activity at Trump Tower 
        or there were agents of a foreign power.''\46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\Unofficial Tr. of Markup of H.R. 1667; H.R. 1695; H. Res. 184; 
and H. Res. 203 before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong. (Mar. 
29, 2017) (statement of Rep. Ted Lieu) [hereinafter Markup Tr.].

Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) asked Representative Lieu to 
yield, and insisted that ``[t]his question has already been 
answered. We know this because Director Comey testified before 
the House Intelligence Committee last week.''\47\ 
Representative Lieu responded: ``Thank you, Mr. Chair, because 
that gets me to the second part of my statement which is, `Or 
the President of the United States just made this up.'''\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \47\Id. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
    \48\Id. (statement of Rep. Ted Lieu).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H. Res. 203 would cut through the Administration's 
deflection. The resolution directs the White House to produce 
what evidence it may have to support the President's statement. 
If, as President Trump suggests, ``we have a lot'' of evidence 
``right now,''\49\ then the resolution would have given him an 
opportunity to be vindicated. If not, then H. Res. 203 would at 
least put the shifting storyline to rest. The Majority chose 
instead to block the resolution, and to enable the President to 
continue pressing his baseless claim.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\Tucker Carlson Tonight, FOX News, broadcast Mar. 15, 2017 
(interview with President Donald Trump).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. President Trump's statements have been widely dismissed as untrue

    There is bipartisan consensus in Congress that the 
President's ``wiretap'' claim is unfounded. Speaker Paul Ryan 
(R-WI) said ``we've seen no evidence of that.''\50\ 
Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman of the House 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said that there was 
not ``an actual tap of Trump Tower. Are you going to take the 
tweets literally? If you are, then clearly the President was 
wrong.''\51\ In a joint statement, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) 
and Mark Warner (D-VA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the 
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said: ``Based on the 
information available to us, we see no indications that Trump 
Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the 
United States government either before or after Election Day 
2016.''\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \50\Austin Wright, Congress' wiretap slap leaves White House 
fuming, Politico, Mar. 16, 2017.
    \51\Id. 
    \52\Id. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In his recent testimony before the intelligence committee, 
FBI Director James Comey made the matter clear in an exchange 
with Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA):

        Schiff. Director Comey, was the president's statement 
        that Obama had his wires tapped in Trump Tower a true 
        statement?
        Comey. With respect to the president's tweet about 
        alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior 
        administration, I have no information that supports 
        those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the 
        FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share 
        with you that the answer is the same for the Department 
        of Justice and all its components. The department has 
        no information that supports those tweets. . . .
        Schiff. So President Obama could not unilaterally order 
        a wiretap of anyone?
        Comey. No president could.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \53\Russian Active Measures Investigation: Open Hearing before the 
H. Permanent Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 115th Cong. (2017) (remarks of 
Director James B. Comey, Federal Bureau of Investigation).

    In an odd reflection of the larger incident, during 
Director Comey's testimony, President Trump claimed from his 
official Twitter account that Director Comey and National 
Security Agency Director Mike Rogers had told the committee 
that ``Russia did not influence electoral process.''\54\ Later 
in the hearing, Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) asked Director 
Comey about the President's characterization. Director Comey 
said ``it wasn't our intention to say that today'' and referred 
back to his earlier testimony that Russia had ``engaged in a 
multifaceted campaign of active measures to undermine our 
democracy and hurt one of the candidates--and hope to help one 
of the other candidates.''\55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\President Trump (@POTUS), Twitter, Mar. 20, 2017, 9:42AM.
    \55\Russian Active Measures Investigation: Open Hearing before the 
H. Permanent Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 115th Cong. (2017) (remarks of 
Director James B. Comey, Federal Bureau of Investigation).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. The Administration's defense of the President's claim presents a 
        risk to national security

    The fact that the President is caught without evidence for 
his wiretapping claim does not mean that his actions cannot 
cause real and lasting damage to the United States. In a 
rambling defense of the President's wiretapping claim, White 
House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the White House Press 
pool:

        Last, on Fox News, on March 14th, Judge Andrew 
        Napolitano made the following statement, quote, ``three 
        intelligence sources have informed Fox News that 
        President Obama went outside the chain of command. He 
        didn't use the NSA, he didn't' use the CIA, he didn't 
        use the FBI, and he didn't use the Department of 
        Justice. He used GCHQ. What is that? It's the initials 
        for the British intelligence finding agency.\56\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 16, 2017.

    The White House continues to avoid responsibility from the 
fallout for these remarks.
    Breaking from its policy of refusing to comment about its 
activities, a spokesman for United Kingdom Government 
Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) said: ``Recent allegations 
made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ 
being asked to conduct `wiretapping' against the then president 
elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be 
ignored.''\57\ Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrat party 
in the United Kingdom, stated: ``Trump is compromising the 
vital UK-US security relationship to try to cover his own 
embarrassment. This harms our and US security.''\58\ Susan 
Rice, National Security Advisor for President Obama, argued: 
``The cost of falsely blaming our closest ally for something 
this consequential cannot be overstated.''\59\ Prime Minister 
Teresa May of Britain also issued a statement: ``We've made 
clear to the administration that these claims are ridiculous 
and should be ignored. We've received assurances these 
allegations won't be repeated.''\60\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \57\Barney Henderson, GCHQ slaps down White House claims of Trump 
Tower wiretapping claims as ``utterly ridiculous,'' Telegraph, Mar. 17, 
2017.
    \58\Id.
    \59\Id.
    \60\Peter Baker & Steven Erlanger, Trump Offers No Apology for 
Claim on British Spying, N.Y. Times, Mar. 17, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The next day, at a press conference with German Chancellor 
Angela Merkel, President Trump was unwilling to take 
responsibility for the backlash: ``All we did was quote a 
certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible 
for saying that on television. You shouldn't be talking to me, 
you should be talking to Fox.''\61\ Mr. Spicer echoed those 
remarks: ``I don't think we regret anything. As the president 
said, I was just reading off media reports.''\62\ Fox News 
later disavowed the report. ``Fox News knows of no evidence of 
any kind, that the now president of the United States was 
surveilled at any time, in any way, full stop.''\63\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \61\Id.
    \62\Id.
    \63\Peter Sterne, Fox News: ``No evidence of any kind'' that Obama 
wiretapped Trump, Politico, Mar. 17, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The United States intelligence community relies on a close 
relationship with its British counterparts. In its defense of 
the President's claim, the White House has directly endangered 
that partnership. Dr. Kori Schake, who served on President 
George W. Bush's National Security Council and advised the 
McCain-Palin presidential campaign, put it this way: ``It 
illustrates the extent to which the White House really doesn't 
care what damage they do to crucial relationships in order to 
avoid admitting their dishonesty. America's allies are having 
to protect themselves from being tarred with the White House's 
mendacity.''\64\ Eric Edelman, a career Foreign Service officer 
and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy under President 
George W. Bush, stated: ``I hope that this latest episode 
doesn't drive a stake through the heart of the strongest 
remaining element of the Anglo-American partnership.''\65\ 
Julianne Smith, who served as deputy national security adviser 
to Vice President Joe Biden, warned: ``He will probably live to 
see the day when he will regret firing off such an egregious 
insult to Britain and then failing to apologize for it.''\66\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \64\Peter Baker & Steven Erlanger, Trump Offers No Apology for 
Claim on British Spying, N.Y. Times, Mar. 17, 2017.
    \65\Id.
    \66\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump has given the world plenty of reason to 
question the truth of his statements. His loss of credibility 
has profound consequences for the security of the United 
States. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board put it:

        If President Trump announces that North Korea launched 
        a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would 
        most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the 
        world? We're not sure, which speaks to the damage that 
        Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly 
        endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free 
        accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

        The latest example is Mr. Trump's refusal to back off 
        his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago that he 
        had ``found out that [Barack] Obama had my `wires 
        tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory'' on 
        Election Day. He has offered no evidence for his claim, 
        and a parade of intelligence officials, senior 
        Republicans and Democrats have since said they have 
        seen no such evidence.

        Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk 
        to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman 
        to make more dubious claims.\67\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \67\A President's Credibility, Wall St. Journal, Mar. 21, 2017.

    By requesting information about the President's 
``wiretapping'' claims, the Committee would have put the burden 
on the President to produce the evidence or issue an apology. 
Even if the President had failed on those fronts, Congress 
would have shown our partners that Congress will not condone 
President Trump's reckless behavior. The Majority voted instead 
to block H. Res. 203, and to leave our allies to wonder at 
their inaction.

V. The White House is undermining the credibility of the only House 
        investigation of the President's ties to Russia

    H. Res. 203 is important, not only to help the Committee 
conduct basic oversight, but also to push back against an 
Administration that has attempted to impede the House of 
Representatives' only active investigation into ties between 
the Trump campaign and the government of Vladimir Putin.
    Despite Sean Spicer's protest that ``it's not in our 
interest to talk about the process,''\68\ the timeline of 
events suggests that the White House attempted to orchestrate 
the release of ``secret'' information through Representative 
Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select 
Committee on Intelligence. The Trump Administration appears to 
have done so in an attempt to justify the President's tweets 
and to undercut the intelligence committee's Russia 
investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \68\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 31, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 20, 2017, Director James Comey took the 
extraordinary step of announcing that the FBI is investigating 
possible collusion between the President's advisors and the 
Russian government. Director Comey also dismissed the 
President's claim that he was wiretapped.\69\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \69\Russian Active Measures Investigation: Open Hearing before the 
H. Permanent Sel. Comm. on Intelligence, 115th Cong. (2017) (remarks of 
Director James B. Comey, Federal Bureau of Investigation).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sometime on March 21, 2017 Chairman Nunes received a call 
from ``a source.'' He went directly to the White House and 
reviewed ``dozens'' of intelligence reports.\70\ The following 
day, Chairman Nunes announced to the press that ``on numerous 
occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected 
information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump 
transition.''\71\ Chairman Nunes shared this information with 
Speaker Ryan, then traveled back to the White House to brief 
President Trump on the matter. He did so without sharing his 
findings with any other member of the intelligence committee. 
In a second press conference convened in the driveway of the 
White House, Chairman Nunes stated that, although the new 
information did not directly support the President's 
wiretapping claim, it did show that the President was probably 
right to say he had been under surveillance.\72\ President 
Trump later said that he felt ``somewhat'' vindicated by the 
announcement.\73\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\Emmarie Huetteman & Matthew Rosenberg, Confused by the Trump 
Surveillance Drama? Here's a Timeline, N.Y. Times, Mar. 31, 2017.
    \71\Greg Miller, et al., House Intelligence chair says Trump 
campaign officials were ensnared in surveillance operations, Wash. 
Post, Mar. 22, 2017.
    \72\Matthew Rosenberg et al., Monitoring May Have ``Incidentally'' 
Picked Up Trump Aides, House Member Says, N.Y. Times, Mar. 22, 2017.
    \73\Brian Bennett, Trump says he feels ``somewhat'' vindicated by 
spying revelations from Rep. Devin Nunes, L.A. Times, Mar. 22, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 23, 2017, Mr. Spicer denied that the White House 
had been the source of the information handed to Chairman 
Nunes. ``I don't know why he would brief the Speaker and then 
come down here to brief us on something we would have briefed 
him on. It doesn't really seem to make a ton of sense.''\74\ 
Later that day, Chairman Nunes apologized ``for not sharing 
information about the documents he saw with the Minority before 
going public,'' but insisted that ``[t]he president didn't 
invite me over'' to the White House.\75\ He subsequently 
canceled an open hearing on the Russia investigation that had 
been scheduled for the next week.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \74\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 23, 2017.
    \75\Austin Wright & Nolan D. McCaskill, Nunes apologizes for going 
directly to White House with monitoring claims, Politico, Mar. 23, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) called the Chairman's 
actions ``an attempt to choke off'' public access to critical 
information about the Trump Administration.\76\ Chairman Nunes 
continued to withhold his secret evidence from his colleagues, 
arguing that he would ``never reveal those sources and 
methods.''\77\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \76\Rep. Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff), Twitter, Mar. 24, 2017, 
11:46AM.
    \77\Eric Beech, House intel panel chief Nunes says he will not 
divulge his sources, Reuters, Mar. 28, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As the Judiciary Committee prepared to mark up H. Res. 203, 
it became increasingly clear that the White House itself was 
the source of Chairman Nunes' ``evidence.'' Chairman Nunes said 
he met his source on ``White House grounds . . . in order to 
have proximity to a secure location where he could view the 
information provided by the source.''\78\ Mr. Nunes is the 
Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on 
Intelligence, and controls the largest secure space in the U.S. 
Capitol complex. He did not need to travel to the White House 
to gain access to a secure facility.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \78\Austin Wright, Nunes on White House grounds before monitoring 
claim, Politico, Mar. 27, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Later reports show that at least two, and perhaps three, 
White House officials provided Chairman Nunes with access to 
the new information and to the White House grounds.\79\ At 
least one such official had worked for Chairman Nunes before 
joining White House Counsel's Office. These were not 
``whistleblower-type'' individuals, as they had been described 
by Chairman Nunes and Speaker Ryan.\80\ They were White House 
employees. Mr. Spicer later described these officials as having 
come across ``information that may support the questions raised 
by the President'' in the ``ordinary course of their 
work.''\81\ Ranking Member Schiff responded directly to that 
comment:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \79\Matthew Rosenberg et al., 2 White House Officials Helped Give 
Nunes Intelligence Reports, N.Y. Times, Mar. 30, 2017; Greg Miller and 
Karen DeYoung, Three White House officials tied to files shared with 
House intelligence chairman, Wash. Post, Mar. 30, 2017.
    \80\Mark Hensch, Ryan: Nunes source a ``whistleblower type,'' The 
Hill, Mar. 30, 2017.
    \81\Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press 
Secretary Sean Spicer, The White House, Mar. 31, 2017.

        Well, the question for the White House and for Mr. 
        Spicer is the ordinary course of whose business? 
        Because, if these were produced either for or by the 
        White House, then why all of the subterfuge? There's 
        nothing ordinary about the process that was used here 
        at all.\82\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \82\State of the Union, CNN, broadcast Apr. 2, 2017 (statement of 
Rep. Adam Schiff).

    After reports outed these White House officials, the 
Administration invited Ranking Member Schiff and the heads of 
the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to review the 
``evidence'' on hand. Representative Schiff commented after his 
visit to the White House: ``Nothing I could see today warranted 
a departure from the normal review procedures, and these 
materials should now be provided to the full membership of both 
committees.''\83\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \83\Austin Wright, Schiff slams White House after reviewing 
controversial intelligence, Politico, Mar. 31, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Observers on both sides of the aisle are troubled by 
Chairman Nunes' behavior. Senator John McCain found the 
situation ``bizarre'' and noted that ``[t]here is no 
substantiation for what Chairman Nunes said.''\84\ Ranking 
Member Schiff argued that Chairman Nunes ``will need to decide 
whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation . . 
. or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, 
because he cannot do both.''\85\ Representative Charlie Dent 
(R-PA) appears to have lost faith in the House investigation 
altogether. ``The Senate is going to lead this discussion . . . 
the House is in a situation where the issue has become overly 
politicized.''\86\ Senator McCain was even more direct: ``If 
we're really going to get to the bottom of these things, it's 
got to be done in a bipartisan fashion. And as far as I can 
tell, Congressman Nunes killed that.''\87\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \84\Christiano Lima, McCain: House panel lost ``credibility'' to 
handle Russia probe, Politico, Mar. 22, 2017.
    \85\Id. 
    \86\Noland D. McCaskill, Rep. Dent: House intel probe ``overly 
politicized,'' Politico, Mar. 29, 2017.
    \87\This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC News, broadcast Apr. 
2, 2017 (statement of Senator John McCain).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To be clear, Chairman Nunes' announcement does not validate 
President Trump's wiretapping claim. The President alleged that 
the government targeted Trump Tower for surveillance, that the 
surveillance was illegal, that it took place during the 
campaign, and that President Obama ordered the operation. Even 
if what Chairman Nunes shared with the press is accurate, it 
does not support the President's accusation.
    By coordinating with Chairman Nunes, the White House has 
undercut the credibility of the only active House investigation 
of the President's ties to Russia. Chairman Nunes cancelled 
plans for a second open hearing on the Russia investigation. 
That hearing would have featured former Acting Attorney General 
Sally Q. Yates, former Director of National Intelligence James 
Clapper, and former CIA Director John Brennan--all of whom have 
disputed the President's wiretapping claim and expressed 
concern about the Trump Administration's ties to the Russian 
government.\88\ Public sentiment has turned against the 
prospect of a credible investigation run by the House 
intelligence committee.\89\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \88\Greg miller and Karoun Demirjian, Chairman and partisan: The 
dual roles of Devin Nunes raise questions about House investigation, 
Wash. Post, Mar. 26, 2017.
    \89\See, e.g., Editorial Board, Take Devin Nunes off Russian case, 
USA Today, Mar. 22, 2017; Editorial, Rep. Nunes is a Lapdog in a 
Watchdog Role, N.Y. Times, Mar. 23, 2017; Jennifer Rubin, Nunes shows 
why he's incapable of running an investigation, Wash. Post, Mar. 23, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H. Res. 203 would have given the House Judiciary Committee 
an opportunity to contain this damage, and to conduct real 
oversight in a credible manner.
    At the markup of the resolution, Representative Jamie 
Raskin (D-MD) offered an amendment that would have directed the 
White House and the Department of Justice to produce any 
information they have that is related to Chairman Nunes' late-
night visit to the White House and subsequent claims. 
Representative Raskin explained:

        Chairman Nunes went to the White House with information 
        that he did not first go to his committee with, [and] 
        it raises a number of very serious questions. Why did 
        Chairman Nunes need to brief the President on documents 
        clearly already in possession of the White House? Why 
        did he need to work with the White House to obtain and 
        examine these documents when he has subpoena power as 
        chairman of the Intelligence Committee? Why would he 
        brief the President, whose associates may very well be 
        the subject of the Intelligence Committee's 
        investigations and FBI investigations, and did he in 
        fact inadvertently become the leak that our colleagues 
        on the other side of the aisle have frequently 
        invoked''\90\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \90\Markup Tr. (statement of Rep. Jamie Raskin).

    The Majority rejected Representative Raskin's amendment 
because, in the view of Chairman Goodlatte, ``there is no 
reason to request this information at this time.''\91\ The 
Majority then rejected the underlying resolution, preferring 
instead to be complicit in the President's obstruction of a 
congressional investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \91\Id. (statement of Chairman Robert Goodlatte).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               CONCLUSION

    In his opposition to H. Res. 203, Chairman Goodlatte noted 
the FBI's acknowledgement of an investigation into the Trump 
campaign's contacts with the Russian government. ``[W]e should 
not be supplanting that with a blunderbuss approach where we 
submit a resolution of inquiry, which does not even carry the 
weight of a subpoena, asking for information that is already 
being investigated by other committees and by the executive 
branch.''\92\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \92\Id.
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    We do not so casually dismiss our Committee's jurisdiction 
in this matter, particularly given the Trump Administration's 
attempt to undermine the only active investigation of these 
matters in the House of Representatives. H. Res. 203 would have 
helped our Committee push back against a President who has 
severely damaged his own credibility--and whose dalliance with 
Chairman Nunes threatens ours. The Resolution would have placed 
pressure on the Trump Administration to provide evidence for 
the President's wiretap claim. If the Administration had 
ignored our request, then we would have been justified in 
resorting to the compulsory process mentioned by the Chairman. 
Instead, the Majority will have its way, and the Committee will 
take no official action with respect to the President's 
apparent lies and the damage they have caused.
    We will continue to press for answers and accountability, 
both on President Trump's wiretapping claim and on the 
underlying investigation into his connections to the government 
of Vladimir Putin. We respectfully dissent from the Majority's 
motion to disapprove H. Res. 203.

                                   Mr. Conyers, Jr.
                                   Mr. Nadler.
                                   Ms. Lofgren.
                                   Ms. Jackson Lee.
                                   Mr. Cohen.
                                   Mr. Johnson, Jr.
                                   Mr. Deutch.
                                   Mr. Gutierrez.
                                   Ms. Bass.
                                   Mr. Richmond.
                                   Mr. Jeffries.
                                   Mr. Cicilline.
                                   Mr. Swalwell.
                                   Mr. Lieu.
                                   Ms. Jayapal.
                                   Mr. Raskin.

                                  [all]