Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

116th Congress    }                                           {    Report
                           HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                           {   116-108

======================================================================

 
AUTHORIZING THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY TO INITIATE OR INTERVENE IN 
    JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS TO ENFORCE CERTAIN SUBPOENAS AND FOR OTHER 
                                PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

   June 10, 2019.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. McGovern, from the Committee on Rules, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 430]

    The Committee on Rules, to whom was referred the resolution 
(H. Res. 430) authorizing the Committee on the Judiciary to 
initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce 
certain subpoenas and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend 
that the resolution as amended be agreed to.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   PAGE
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................    23
Committee Consideration..........................................    23
Committee Votes..................................................    23
Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations.................    26
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................    26
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    27
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    27
Changes in Existing House Rules Made by the Resolution, as 
  Reported.......................................................    28
Dissenting Views.................................................    29

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike the text and insert the following:

  That the chair of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of 
Representatives is authorized, on behalf of such Committee, to initiate 
or intervene in any judicial proceeding before a Federal court--
          (1) to seek declaratory judgments and any and all ancillary 
        relief, including injunctive relief, affirming the duty of--
                  (A) William P. Barr, Attorney General, to comply with 
                the subpoena that is the subject of the resolution 
                accompanying House Report 116-105; and
                  (B) Donald F. McGahn, II, former White House Counsel, 
                to comply with the subpoena issued to him on April 22, 
                2019; and
          (2) to petition for disclosure of information regarding any 
        matters identified in or relating to the subpoenas referred to 
        in paragraph (1) or any accompanying report, pursuant to 
        Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), including Rule 
        6(e)(3)(E) (providing that the court may authorize disclosure 
        of a grand-jury matter ``preliminarily to... a judicial 
        proceeding'').
  Resolved,  That the chair of each standing and permanent select 
committee, when authorized by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, 
retains the ability to initiate or intervene in any judicial proceeding 
before a Federal court on behalf of such committee, to seek declaratory 
judgments and any and all ancillary relief, including injunctive 
relief, affirming the duty of the recipient of any subpoena duly issued 
by that committee to comply with that subpoena. Consistent with the 
Congressional Record statement on January 3, 2019, by the chair of the 
Committee on Rules regarding the civil enforcement of subpoenas 
pursuant to clause 8(b) of rule II, a vote of the Bipartisan Legal 
Advisory Group to authorize litigation and to articulate the 
institutional position of the House in that litigation is the 
equivalent of a vote of the full House of Representatives.
  Resolved,  That in connection with any judicial proceeding brought 
under the first or second resolving clauses, the chair of any standing 
or permanent select committee exercising authority thereunder has any 
and all necessary authority under Article I of the Constitution.
  Resolved,  That the chair of any standing or permanent select 
committee exercising authority described in the first or second 
resolving clause shall notify the House of Representatives, with 
respect to the commencement of any judicial proceeding thereunder.
  Resolved,  That the Office of General Counsel of the House of 
Representatives shall, with the authorization of the Speaker, represent 
any standing or permanent select committee in any judicial proceeding 
initiated or intervened in pursuant to the authority described in the 
first or second resolving clause.
  Resolved,  That the Office of General Counsel of the House of 
Representatives is authorized to retain private counsel, either for pay 
or pro bono, to assist in the representation of any standing or 
permanent select committee in any judicial proceeding initiated or 
intervened in pursuant to the authority described in the first or 
second resolving clause.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    This resolution authorizes the Committee on the Judiciary 
to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce 
certain subpoenas, a process commonly referred to as ``civil 
contempt.''\1\ The resolution affirms that the chair of each 
standing and permanent select committee, when authorized by the 
Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, retains the ability to 
initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to seek 
enforcement of subpoenas issued by the committee. The 
resolution provides that, in connection with any judicial 
proceeding brought under the first or second resolving clause, 
the chair of any standing or permanent select committee 
exercising the authority thereunder has any and all necessary 
authority under Article I of the Constitution. The resolution 
requires the chair of any standing or permanent select 
committee exercising authority as described in the first or 
second resolving clause to notify the House of Representatives, 
with respect to the commencement of any judicial proceeding. 
The resolution allows the Office of General Counsel of the 
House of Representatives, with authorization of the Speaker, to 
represent any standing or permanent select committee in any 
judicial proceeding initiated or intervened in pursuant to the 
authority described in the first or second resolving clause. 
Finally, the resolution permits that the Office of General 
Counsel of the House of Representatives to retain private 
counsel, either for pay or pro bono, to assist in the 
representation of any standing or permanent select committee in 
any judicial proceeding initiated or intervened in pursuant to 
the authority described in the first or second resolving 
clause.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See, e.g., Morton Rosenberg, When Congress Comes Calling: A 
Study on the Principles, Practices, and Pragmatics of Legislative 
Inquiry 31 (2017) (referring to civil suits to enforce subpoenas as 
``civil contempt suits''); Morton Rosenberg & Todd B. Tatelman, Cong. 
Res. Serv., Congress's Contempt Power: Law, History, Practice, and 
Procedure 37-46 (Apr. 15, 2008) (describing judicial proceedings to 
enforce subpoenas as ``Civil Contempt in the House of 
Representatives'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Since the start of the current 116th Congress, in 
performing its constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the 
Executive Branch, the House of Representatives has been met 
with unprecedented stonewalling and obstruction by the White 
House and Trump Administration. This cover-up is being directed 
from the top. President Trump, without citing any legitimate 
rationale, has vowed, ``We're fighting all the subpoenas''\2\ 
and declared, ``I don't want people testifying.''\3\ Since 
then, the President has refused to work on legislative 
priorities, such as infrastructure, until the House halts all 
oversight and investigations of his Administration.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Trump vows stonewall of `All' House subpoenas, setting up fight 
over powers (April 24, 2019) (online at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/
04/24/us/politics/donald-trump-subpoenas.html)
    \3\Trump says he is opposed to White House aides testifying to 
Congress, deepening power struggle with Hill (April 23, 2019) (online 
at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-he-is-opposed-to-
white-house-aides-testifying-to-congress-deepening-power-struggle-with-
hill/2019/04/23/0c7bd8dc-65e0-11e9-8985-
4cf30147bdca_story.html?utm_term=.c08cc78e2536)
    \4\Trump Refuses to Repair Infrastructure Unless Congress Halts All 
Investigations, New York Magazine (May 22, 2019) (online at http://
nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/trump-stop-investigating-me-or-
infrastructure-deal-dies.html).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The result of this blanket obstruction has been the Trump 
Administration's failure to fully comply with, or completely 
ignoring, all legitimate oversight requests. Whether it be 
ignoring requests for documents, limiting in-person interviews, 
refusing to attend depositions, or defying duly issued 
congressional subpoenas, the Executive Branch's actions to 
undermine the oversight obligations of the Legislative Branch 
have been wide-ranging and systemic.
    This obstruction of the oversight responsibilities of the 
House is not only an affront to our constitutional system of 
checks and balances, but it also serves to stifle the work of 
Congress to address issues important to the American people. 
From protecting Americans' access to health care and responding 
to natural disasters, to protecting our clean air and water, 
this Administration has failed to provide the information the 
People's House requires to conduct oversight of these crucial 
issues. Obstructing oversight in these areas impairs the 
ability of the Congress to have sufficient information to 
legislate effectively and efficiently on behalf of the American 
people. As the Supreme Court has said: ``The power of inquiry 
has been employed by Congress throughout our history, over the 
whole range of the national interests concerning which Congress 
might legislate or decide upon due investigation not to 
legislate; it has similarly been utilized in determining what 
to appropriate from the national purse, or whether to 
appropriate. The scope of the power of inquiry, in short, is as 
penetrating and far-reaching as the potential power to enact 
and appropriate under the Constitution.''\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Barenblatt v. United States, 360 U.S. 109, 111 (1959).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No one is above the law and no administration is immune 
from oversight. The House of Representatives will hold this 
Administration accountable, continue to advance legislation 
important to the American people, and stand up for the 
principle of checks and balances that is the bedrock of our 
Constitution.

     Investigating Critical Issues Important to the American People

    The Trump Administration's unprecedented obstruction of all 
Congressional oversight not only erodes our constitutional 
system of checks and balances, but also prevents the People's 
House from getting the answers it needs to properly oversee the 
Executive Branch and adopt legislation on issues that impact 
the American people. Stonewalling by the Trump Administration 
is harming Americans' access to health care.

     a. Harm to Americans' Access to Health Care

    The Trump Administration's obstruction is stifling 
Democratic efforts to provide oversight to ensure that the 
American people have access to affordable healthcare. The 
Committees on Oversight and Reform, Energy and Commerce, Ways 
and Means, Education and Labor, and the Judiciary, are 
investigating the Trump Administration's involvement in the 
Department of Justice's (DOJ) sudden and significant decision 
to reverse its previous position defending the 
constitutionality of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act 
(ACA). Despite requests for documents from DOJ and the White 
House, as well as requests for interviews with key witnesses on 
April 8, 2019 and May 13, 2019, neither DOJ nor the White House 
has responded in any capacity.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy and 
Commerce, Richard E. Neal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and Means, Robert 
C. ``Bobby'' Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education And Labor, and 
Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, to William Barr, 
Attorney General, Dept. of Justice (April 8, 2019), available at 
https://judiciary.house.gov/sites/democrats.judiciary.house.gov/files/
documents/4.8.2019%20Letter%20to%20Barr%20re.%20ACA.pdf; Letter from 
Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, Frank 
Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy and Commerce, Richard E. 
Neal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and Means, Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on Education and Labor, and Jerrold Nadler, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, to Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the 
President, (April 8, 2019), available at https://oversight.house.gov/
sites/democrats. oversight.house.gov/files/2019-04-
08.EEC%20Pallone%20Neal%20Scott%20Nadler%20to%20Cipollone-
WH%20re%20ACA.pdf; Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. 
on Oversight and Reform, Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on 
Energy and Commerce, Richard E. Neal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and 
Means, Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education And 
Labor, and Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, to Pat 
Cipollone, Counsel to the President (May 13, 2019), available at 
https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/
2019-05-13.EEC%20Pallone%20Neal%20Scott%20Nadler%20to%20Cipollone-
WH%20re%20ACA.pdf; Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. 
on Oversight and Reform, Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on 
Energy and Commerce, Richard E. Neal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and 
Means, Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education And 
Labor, and Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, to William 
Barr, Attorney General, Dept. of Justice (May 13, 2019), available at 
https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/
2019-05-13.EEC%20Pallone%20Neal%20Scott%20Nadler%20to%20Barr-
DOJ%20re%20ACA.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Trump Administration has also failed to respond to 
Congressional inquiries regarding its sabotage of the American 
health care system, which is increasing health care costs and 
taking away coverage from American families and patients. On 
February 21, 2018, the Administration released a Proposed Rule 
on Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI). The 
Administration proposed to permit the sale of junk STLDI plans 
with duration terms of up to 12 months and that could be 
renewed for up to three years. These unregulated junk plans 
leave American families exposed to great financial risk and 
increase costs for individuals with pre-existing conditions who 
need comprehensive coverage. On August 3, 2018, the 
Administration released the Final Rule on STLDI. On January 8, 
2019, the Committees sent a letter to the Administration 
requesting information, including how HHS arrived at the final 
rule.\7\ HHS has failed to produce any documents in response.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Letter from the Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy 
and Commerce, Bobby Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education and Labor, 
Richard Neal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and Means, Ron Wyden, Ranking 
Member, S. Comm. on Finance, Patty Murray, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on 
Health, Educ., Labor, and Pensions, to Alex Azar, Secretary, Dept. of 
Health and Human Services, Alexander Acosta, Secretary, Dept. of Labor, 
Steven Mnuchin, Secretary, Dept. of Treasury, Mick Mulvaney, Director, 
Office of Mgmt. and Budget (Jan. 8, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 22, 2018, the Trump Administration issued 
guidance on Section 1332 of the ACA that raises costs for older 
and vulnerable Americans and eliminates protections for people 
living with pre-existing conditions. The Committees on Energy 
and Commerce and Ways and Means sent a letter to the 
Administration requesting information about the proposed 
changes, including an explanation as to why the Administration 
decided to promulgate the changes as Section 1332 guidance 
rather than go through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking process, 
as well as a comprehensive document request.\8\ The 
Administration has not provided a response or the documents 
requested.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Letter from the Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy 
and Commerce, Richard Neal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and Means, to 
Alex Azar, Secretary, Dept. of Health and Human Services, Steven 
Mnuchin, Secretary, Dept. of Treasury, Seema Verma, Administrator, 
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Charles Rettig, 
Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service (Nov. 29, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    b. Threatening Environmental Protections

    Stonewalling by the Administration is putting our 
environment and public health at risk. The Trump Administration 
has ignored good-faith Congressional inquiries for information 
about chemical risk assessments that have significant 
implications for human health. For example, in 2018, the 
Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) political leadership 
announced it would not release an already-completed assessment 
on the health effects of formaldehyde for peer review and 
provided no defense of its decision. On March 4, 2019, the 
Committee on Science, Space & Technology requested documents 
from EPA to understand how this decision was reached, issuing a 
deadline of April 5.\9\ EPA was nonresponsive so the Committee 
issued a second deadline of April 19. But EPA has provided zero 
documents in response to the request to date. EPA has provided 
no explanation for its failures to respond.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Letter from Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on 
Science, Space & Technology, to Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, 
Environmental Protection Agency (Mar. 4, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 7, the Committee on Natural Resources requested 
information about attempts to work on drilling in the Arctic 
during a government shutdown. The Department of the Interior 
(DOI) has not provided information.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, to David Bernhardt, Acting Secretary, Dept. of Interior 
(Jan. 7, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 24, the Committee requested documents regarding 
the Administration's plan to drill for oil off the coastal U.S. 
DOI has not provided the documents.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Letter from Raul Grijalva, H. Comm. on Natural Resources, 
Chairman, and Alan Lowenthal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural Resources, 
Sub. Comm. on Energy and Mineral Resources, to David Bernhardt, Acting 
Secretary, Dept. of Interior (Jan. 24, 201).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 30, the Committee requested six documents 
relating to the undermining of protections for endangered 
species. DOI has not provided the documents.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, to David Bernhardt, Acting Secretary, Dep't of Interior, and 
Wilbur Ross, Secretary, Dept. of Commerce (Jan. 30, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 11, the Committee requested documents 
pertaining to the cancellation of a scientific study on the 
impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on the health of 
people living in neighboring communities. DOI has not provided 
the documents.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, and Alan Lowenthal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural Resources, 
Sub. Comm. on Energy and Mineral Resources to David Bernhardt, Acting 
Secretary, Dep't of Interior (Feb. 11, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 26, the Committee requested documents 
pertaining to attempts by companies to avoid rules enacted to 
prevent another Deepwater Horizon-like oil spill of millions of 
gallons. DOI has not provided the documents.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, and Alan Lowenthal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural Resources, 
Sub. Comm. on Energy and Mineral Resources, to Scott A. Angelle, 
Director, Bureau of Safety and Envtl. Enforcement, Dept. of Interior 
(Feb. 26, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 28 and March 1, the Committee requested 
documents relating to the shrinking of our national monuments. 
DOI and the Department of Commerce (DOC) have not provided the 
documents.\15\\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, to Wilbur Ross, Secretary, Dept. of Commerce, and David 
Bernhardt, Acting Secretary, Dept. of Interior (Feb. 28, 2019).
    \16\Letter from and Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, to Rear Admiral Gallaudet, Deputy Adm'r, Nat'l Ocean and 
Atmospheric Admin (Mar. 1, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 1, the Committee requested documents about a 
massive mine proposed next to a Minnesota wilderness area. DOI 
has not provided the documents.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, Betty McCollum, Chairwoman, Comm. on Appropriations, Sub. 
Comm. on Interior-Environment, and Alan Lowenthal, Chairman, H. Comm. 
on Natural Resources, Sub. Comm. on Energy and Mineral Resources, to 
Sonny Perdue, Secretary, Dep't of Agric., and David Bernhardt, Acting 
Secretary, Dep't of Interior (Mar. 1, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 11, the Committee requested documents concerning 
the Administration's efforts to enforce worker safety and 
environmental protections for oil and gas wells on public 
lands. DOI has not provided the documents.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, and Alan Lowenthal, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural Resources, 
Sub. Comm. on Energy and Mineral Resources, to David Bernhardt, Acting 
Secretary, Dep't of Interior (Mar. 11, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 13, the Committee requested documents about the 
Administration's multiple attempts to withhold information 
about their operations under the Freedom of Information Act 
from the American people. DOI has not provided the 
documents.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, Elijah Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, 
and TJ Cox, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, Sub. Comm. on 
Oversight and Investigations to David Bernhardt, Acting Secretary, 
Dept. of Interior (Mar. 13, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 13, several committees requested information 
regarding weakening protections for whales. DOI and DOC have 
not provided the information.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, et al., Mike Pompeo, Secretary, Dept. of State, Wilbur Ross, 
Secretary, Dept. of Commerce, David Bernhardt, Acting Secretary, Dept. 
of Interior, Robert E. Lighthizer, Ambassador, U.S. Trade. Rep. (Mar. 
13, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 26, the Committee requested a single document 
detailing the risk posed by three pesticides to 1,400 
threatened and endangered species. DOI has not provided the 
document.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, Jared Huffman, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural Resources, Sub. 
Comm. on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, and Rep. Nydia Velazquez to David 
Bernhardt, Acting Secretary, Dept. of Interior (Mar. 26, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 10, the Committee requested a single document 
describing DOI's plan to reorganize. DOI has not provided the 
document.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, and TJ Cox, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, Sub. 
Comm. on Oversight and Investigations to David Bernhardt, Acting 
Secretary, Dept. of Interior (April 10, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 10, the Committee requested documents concerning the 
US Department of Agriculture's failure to consult with 
indigenous peoples when developing protections for forested 
lands. DOI has not provided the documents.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, et. al. to Sonny Perdue, Secretary, Dept. of Agriculture 
(May 10, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 13, the Committee requested information about the 
Administration's failure to protect endangered birds. DOI has 
not provided the documents.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Letter from Raul Grijalva, Chairman, H. Comm. on Natural 
Resources, to Ms. Everson, (May 13, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 7, 2018, Energy and Commerce Committee 
Democrats sent a letter to the Administration requesting 
information and health and safety studies of per and 
polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) reviewed by EPA.\25\ After 
repeated follow up by staff, Environment and Climate Change 
Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko requested a response to the 
letter from EPA Administrator Wheeler during a subcommittee 
hearing on April 9, 2019. Administrator Wheeler refused to 
commit to replying, and that request is still outstanding.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\Letter from Paul D. Tonko, Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy and 
Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, Rep. Ben Ray 
Lujan, Rep. Debbie Dingell, and Rep. Peter Welch, to Andrew R. Wheeler, 
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (Dec. 7, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 28, 2019, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman 
Pallone and Subcommittee Chairpersons Tonko and DeGette 
requested information and documents related to EPA's actions to 
weaken human health protections against mercury, including 
information on industry compliance with EPA's standards.\26\ 
After his agency failed to respond, EPA Administrator Wheeler 
personally committed to Chair DeGette to provide this 
information in his testimony before the Committee on April 9, 
2019. To date, despite repeated follow-up communications to the 
agency by Committee staff, EPA has still failed to provide the 
requested information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\Letter from Frank J. Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy 
and Commerce, Diana DeGette, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Energy and 
Commerce, Sub. Comm. on Oversight and Investigations, and Paul D. 
Tonko, Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy and Commerce, Sub. Comm. on 
Environment and Climate Change, to Andrew R. Wheeler, Administrator, 
Environmental Protection Agency (Jan. 28, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 30, 2019, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman 
Pallone and Subcommittee Chairman Tonko requested health and 
safety studies used in EPA's risk assessment of Pigment Violet 
29.\27\ That request was renewed on March 21.\28\ Although the 
agency provided the studies on March 22, significant portions 
of the studies were redacted. The agency has not provided the 
redacted portions of the studies and refused to discuss the 
basis for that refusal. Both the request for PFAS information 
and the request for PV29 studies were made pursuant to the 
Toxic Substances Control Act, which includes an explicit 
requirement to provide all information reported to or otherwise 
obtained by the Administrator under that law upon written 
request by any duly authorized committee of Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\Letter from Frank J. Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy 
and Commerce, Paul D. Tonko, Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy and Commerce, 
Sub. Comm. on Environment and Climate Change, to Andrew R. Wheeler, 
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (Jan. 30, 2019).
    \28\Letter from Frank J. Pallone, Jr., Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy 
and Commerce, Paul D. Tonko, Chairman, H. Comm. on Energy and Commerce, 
Sub. Comm. on Environment and Climate Change, to Andrew R. Wheeler, 
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (Mar. 21, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Putting American Workers at Risk

    The Administration's obstruction is preventing the House 
from conducting oversight of protections for American workers. 
The Administration has rebuffed efforts to ensure that the 
Department of Labor is sufficiently staffed in order to perform 
its central mission of protecting workers. For example, on 
April 11, 2019, the Committee on Education and Labor sent a 
letter to Secretary Acosta requesting information concerning 
the Department of Labor's current vacancies (excluding Senate 
confirmed positions).\29\ On April 29, 2019, the Department 
provided a non-responsive answer that simply attached public 
budget numbers for staffing levels.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\Letter from Bobby Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education and 
Labor to Alexander Acosta, Secretary, Dept. of Labor (April 11, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Administration has stifled efforts to ensure that the 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration is not 
arbitrarily rolling back safety standards on carcinogens for 
certain workers. For example, on April 2, 2019, the Committee 
on Education and Labor sent a letter to Secretary Acosta 
requesting information concerning the Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration's June 27, 2017, Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking for Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium 
Compounds in Construction and Shipyards Sector.\30\ 
Specifically, the Committee requested information about their 
required scientific and/or legal determination that rolling 
back the beryllium exposure protections for those in the 
construction and shipyards industries was justified. On April 
26, 2019, the Department sent a non-responsive answer, 
attaching public rulemaking documents that the Committee 
already had and not answering any of the Committee's requests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\Letter from Bobby Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education and 
Labor to Alexander Acosta, Secretary, Dept. of Labor (April 2, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Administration has also blocked inquiries to ensure 
that its deregulatory efforts are proceeding lawfully. For 
example, on April 3, 2019, the Committee on Education and Labor 
sent a letter to Secretary Acosta requesting information 
concerning the Department of Labor's rulemaking steps taken in 
its 2017 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Tip 
Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 2018 Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking Expanding Employment, Training, and 
Apprenticeship Opportunities for 16- and 17-Year-Olds in Health 
Care Occupations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and 2019 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Defining and Delimiting the 
Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside 
Sales and Computer Employees.\31\ On April 29, 2019, the 
Department sent a non-responsive answer to the Committee, 
attaching public rulemaking documents that the Committee 
already had and not answering any of the Committee's requests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\Letter from Bobby Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education and 
Labor to Alexander Acosta, Secretary, Dept. of Labor (April 3, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

   d. Negatively Impacting the Education System and Student Loan Borrowers

    The Administration's unprecedented obstruction is harming 
oversight of our nation's education system. For example, the 
Administration has rejected efforts to obtain information about 
the U.S. Department of Education's decision to install Deputy 
General Counsel Phillip H. Rosenfelt as the Department's Acting 
Inspector General. The Committee on Education and Labor has 
sent two letters, dated February 1\32\ and February 19, 
2019,\33\ requesting documentation of the surrounding 
circumstances leading to this decision. The Department has sent 
multiple non-responsive letters which have cited ``executive 
branch confidentiality interests'' and improperly invoked FOIA 
exemptions as rationales for refusing to provide requested 
correspondence. In another example, the Administration has 
rebuffed efforts to obtain information on the Department's 
implementation of the Borrower Defense to Repayment 
regulations. For example, the Committee on Education and Labor 
sent a letter on March 25, 2019,\34\ detailing the Department's 
stonewalling of the Committee's staff-level requests for 
information which date back to November 2018. Additionally, 
despite repeated requests for an in person briefing on the 
substantive issues as well as a document production, the 
Department will not set a date or agree to hold a briefing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\Letter from Bobby Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education and 
Labor, Rosa DeLauro, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Appropriations, Sub. Comm. 
on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, 
and Patty Murray, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on Health, Education, Labor 
and Pensions, to Betsy DeVos, Secretary, Dept. of Education (Feb. 1, 
2019) available at https://edlabor.house.gov/imo/media/doc/ 2019-02-
01%20Top%20Dems%20Demand%20Answers%20 From%20ED%20 
Following%20Move%20to%20 Replace%20Independent 
%20Watchdog%20With%20Top%20Department%20Official.pdf.
    \33\Letter from Bobby Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education and 
Labor, Rosa DeLauro, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Appropriations, Sub. Comm. 
on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, 
Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, Patty 
Murray, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on Health, Education, Labor and 
Pensions, and Gary Peters, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs, to Betsy DeVos, Secretary, Dept. of 
Education (Feb. 19, 2019) available at https://edlabor.house.gov/imo/
media/doc/ED%20OIG%20 Follow%20up%20Letter%202-19.pdf.
    \34\Letter from Bobby Scott, Chairman, H. Comm. on Education and 
Labor, and Patty Murray, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on Health, Education, 
Labor, and Pensions, to Betsy DeVos, Secretary, Dept. of Education 
(March 25, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  e. Hindering Investigations into Alleged Misconduct in our Financial 
          System

    The Administration has rebuffed efforts to investigate the 
flow of illicit funds through the U.S. financial system, 
businesses and real estate as well as efforts to ensure U.S. 
national security. On April 15, 2019, the Committee on 
Financial Services, together with the Permanent Select 
Committee on Intelligence, subpoenaed documents from Deutsche 
Bank. The subpoena sought information relating to the 
Committees' investigations into the integrity of the U.S. 
financial system and national security, including bank fraud, 
money laundering, foreign influence in the U.S. political 
process, and the counterintelligence risks posed by foreign 
powers' use of financial leverage. Also, on April 15, 2019, the 
Committee on Financial Services subpoenaed Capital One for 
similar information relating to its investigation into the 
efficacy of bank safety practices, banking regulations, loan 
practices and anti-money laundering policies and procedures, 
including as they are applied to and involve the accounts of 
President Trump and his family members. President Trump filed 
suit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent the banks 
from complying with the Committees' validly-issued subpoenas. 
In ruling to deny President Trump's motion for a preliminary 
injunction in that case, Judge Ramos stated, ``[H]ere, the 
committees have alleged a pressing need for the subpoenaed 
documents to further their investigation, and it is not the 
role of the Court or plaintiffs to second guess that need, 
especially in light of the Court's conclusions that the 
requested documents are pertinent to what is likely a lawful 
congressional investigation.''\35\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\Transcript at 85, Donald J. Trump, et al. v. Deutsche Bank AG, 
et al., 19 Civ. 3826 (ER) (S.D.N.Y. May 22, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump's obstruction of investigations into our 
financial system also extends to investigations of potential 
wrongdoing in connection with his finances. For example, the 
Oversight and Reform Committee issued a subpoena to the 
accounting firm Mazars USA LLP in its investigation into 
reports that President Trump may have inflated and deflated his 
financial assets to suit his own purposes. On March 20, 2019, 
the Committee sent a letter to Mazars requesting information on 
how these financial statements and other financial disclosures 
were prepared, including the financial statements themselves 
and communications relating to their preparation.\36\ On March 
27, 2019, counsel to Mazars sent a letter explaining that, 
pursuant to the company's legal obligations, Mazars cannot 
voluntarily turn over the documents ``unless disclosure is made 
pursuant to, among other things, a Congressional 
subpoena.''\37\ On April 15, 2019, the Committee issued a 
subpoena to Mazars demanding the production of four categories 
of responsive documents by April 29, 2019. On April 22, 2019, 
President Trump and his companies sued Mazars and the Committee 
to enjoin compliance with and enforcement of the subpoena, 
arguing that the Committee's investigation lacked a valid 
legislative purpose. After briefing and a hearing, on May 20, 
2019, the trial court issued a final order in favor of the 
Committee, finding that the Committee's investigation had a 
valid legislative purpose.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, to Victor Wahba, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, 
Mazars USA LLP (Mar. 20, 2019, available at https://
www.documentcloud.org/documents/5782258-2019-03-20-EEC-to-Wahba-
Mazars.html.
    \37\Letter from Jerry D. Bernstein, Counsel for Mazars USA LLP, to 
Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform (Mar. 
27, 2019) available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2019-03-
20.EEC%20to%20Wahba-Mazars.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  f. Jeopardizing Care for America's Veterans

    The Trump Administration's obstruction is hurting the 
Congress' ability to oversee the Department of Veterans 
Affairs, and in turn hurting our nation's heroes. For example, 
Administration officials have refused to appear before the 
Veterans' Affairs Committee to testify on modernizing the 
severely outdated systems used for VA benefits, on budget 
requests related to veterans' readjustment benefits, and on 
recommendations to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs' 
effectiveness.
    In a more stunning example, all VA hospitals were 
instructed by VA's Office of Congressional and Legislative 
Affairs to obstruct the Committee's oversight visits to observe 
the first day of the $47 billion MISSION Act rollout--which 
changes the way in which VA manages its network of private 
doctors and health care providers and makes veterans eligible 
to receive treatment from private doctors.
    Veterans' Affairs Committee professional staff members who 
visited the Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico on June 6, 
2019, were not permitted to meet with the facility or regional 
emergency management directors to discuss emergency response 
management and disaster preparedness for hurricane season. The 
facility spokesperson informed Committee staff that no one is 
more prepared for a natural disaster than the Medical Center in 
San Juan, but refused to answer questions or elaborate on any 
measures or steps the facility has taken to prepare, or any 
measures taken since Hurricane Maria.
    At four of the five VA hospitals visited by committee 
personnel on June 6, staff were prevented from speaking with 
key employees who would be able to answer questions about VA-
wide problems with the IT system hospital staff must use to 
determine if a veteran is eligible to see a private doctor or 
calculate the time it would take for a patient to drive to a 
facility. System-wide glitches were reported throughout the 
day. Committee staff were prevented from speaking to employees 
about the training and materials they received to make rollout 
of the program a success and were not permitted to tour past 
the hospital lobby and waiting area.\38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \38\V.A. Prepares for Major Shift in Veterans' Health Care (June 5, 
2019) (online at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/us/politics/va-
health-care-veterans.html).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  g. Slowing the Response to Natural Disasters

    The Administration's continued stonewalling is preventing 
investigations into our nation's response to natural disasters 
that have impacted millions of Americans. For example, the 
Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating the 
Administration's response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Committee started this 
investigation last Congress, on October 11, 2017, with 
bipartisan requests for information. Notwithstanding the 
bipartisan nature of the requests, the White House has failed 
to turn over a single piece of paper to the Committee, 
including information responsive to its most recent request 
dated May 6, 2019.\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \39\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, et al, to Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff, The White 
House (May 6, 2019) available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-05-
06.COR%20Dems%20to%20Mulvaney-
WH%20re%20Hurricanes%20Irma%20and%20Maria.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  h. Cruel Immigration, Family Separation, and Border Wall Policies

    Rather than work with Congress to find long term solutions 
to the problems at our southern border and other challenges 
currently facing our immigration system, the Trump 
Administration has instituted a series of troubling policies, 
such as separating minor children from their families to deter 
asylum seekers from seeking refuge in the United States. On 
January 11,\40\ and May 29, 2019,\41\ the Committee on the 
Judiciary requested documents from the Department of Justice 
relating to the Administration's cruel family separation (or 
``zero tolerance'') policy, including information on the 
Department's involvement in the initial pilot program, 
reunification strategies, migrant detention, and other border-
related policies. Despite the Department identifying over two 
dozen custodians for production, it has provided less than 750 
pages of heavily redacted emails and publicly available court 
filings. On April 16\42\ and May 29, 2019,\43\ the Committee on 
the Judiciary requested information from the Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) regarding President Donald Trump's 
alleged offers of presidential pardons to Acting DHS Secretary 
Kevin McAleenan and other DHS personnel in response to 
potential legal liability related to closing the southern 
border and summarily denying asylum seekers entry into the 
United States. The Judiciary Committee has not received a 
response to this request.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\Letter from Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, to 
Matthew Whitaker, Acting Attorney General, Dept. of Justice (Jan. 11, 
2019) available at https://judiciary.house.gov/sites/
democrats.judiciary.house.gov/files/documents/
Chairman%20Nadler%201.11%20Letter%20to%20Acting%20AG%20Whitaker.pdf.
    \41\Letter from Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, to 
William Barr, Attorney General, Dept. of Justice (May 29, 2019).
    \42\Letter from Jerrod Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, Zoe 
Lofgren, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, Sub. Comm. on Immigration 
and Citizenship, and Steve Cohen, Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, Sub. 
Comm. on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, to Kevin 
McAleenan, Acting Secretary, Dept. of Homeland Security (April 16, 
2019) available at https://judiciary.house.gov/news/press-releases/
nadler-lofgren-and-cohen-seek-documents-and-testimony-president-trump-
s-reported.
    \43\Letter from Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on Judiciary, to 
Kevin McAleenan, Acting Secretary, Dept. of Homeland Security (May 29, 
2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committees on Oversight and Reform, Judiciary, and 
Homeland Security are investigating the Trump Administration's 
unlawful plan to release detained immigrants into sanctuary 
cities as a form of retribution against the President's 
political adversaries. In connection with this and related 
investigations, the Committees requested documents on April 15, 
2019.\44\ The White House has not responded. On April 17, 2019, 
the Committee on Oversight and Reform invited Stephen Miller, 
the White House Senior Policy Advisor charged with handling all 
immigration and border affairs, to testify at a public 
hearing.\45\ The White House refuses to make Mr. Miller 
available to testify.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, Jerrold Nadler, H. Comm. on Judiciary, Chairman, and Bennie 
G. Thompson, Chairman, H. Comm. on Homeland Security, to Mick Mulvaney, 
Acting Chief of Staff, The White House, and Kevin McAleenan, Acting 
Secretary, Dept. of Homeland Security (April 15, 2019) available at 
https://judiciary.house.gov/sites/democrats.judiciary.house.gov/files/
documents/
Nadler%2C%20Cummings%20and%20Thompson%20letter%20to%20DHS%20%26%20WH.pdf

    \45\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, to Stephen Miller, Senior Policy Advisor, The White House 
(April 17, 2019) available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-04-
17.EEC%20to%20Stephen%20Miller%20re%20Witness%20Invite.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Over the last several months, the Committee on 
Appropriations has repeatedly requested information from DHS on 
its policies and processes for determining when U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection personnel will separate individuals who 
present as family units, including requests made by members 
during the FY 2020 Budget Hearing on the Department of Homeland 
Security on April 30, 2019. To date, DHS has failed to provide 
the requested information on the criteria used for such 
separations and the related guidance issued to field personnel. 
Additionally, DHS has failed to provide information on how it 
defines a family for purposes of separation decisions; the 
level of criminality that may serve as the basis for separating 
a child from an adult; and whether its definition of a 
``fraudulent family'' includes individuals who are genetically 
or legally related but are not considered a family under U.S. 
law. DHS has also stated that smugglers are pairing some 
children with unrelated adults multiple times, but has provided 
no documentation of this practice.
    The Administration has also ignored Congressional inquiries 
for information related to section 2808 emergency construction 
authority. For example, at the February 27, 2019 hearing on the 
President's 2019 National Emergency Declaration Circumventing 
Congress to Build a Border Wall & its Effect on Military 
Construction and Readiness, the Committee on Appropriations 
requested relevant information from the Department of Defense 
on the selection process for projects that will be used as a 
source for the border wall. The Department has not provided any 
information in response to the Committee's request. In addition 
to the hearing, the Committee on Appropriations, along with the 
House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter on March 7, 2019, 
to the Acting Secretary of Defense, requesting information 
related to the planning and use of section 2808 emergency 
construction authority.\46\ However, the Department has yet to 
provide all the information requested in this letter and has 
not explained why the Department has failed to respond to all 
elements included in the letter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\Letter from Adam Smith, Chairman, H. Comm. on Armed Services, 
Nita Lowey, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Appropriations, John Garamendi, 
Chairman, H Comm. on Armed Services, Sub. Comm. on Readiness, Peter 
Visclosky, Chairman, H. Comm. on Appropriations, Sub. Comm. on Defense, 
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Appropriations, Sub. 
Comm. on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, 
to Patrick Shanahan, Acting Secretary, Dept. of Defense (Mar. 7, 2019) 
available at https://appropriations.house.gov/news/press-releases/
house-democrats-demand-information-on-use-of-pentagon-funds-for-trump-
s-border.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 i. Obstructing Oversight of Foreign Policy

    The Trump Administration's obstruction goes beyond the 
domestic issues in our country and extends into foreign policy. 
For example, the White House and State Department have failed 
to produce a single document, make any witnesses available, or 
answer written questions in response to request letters sent on 
February 21\47\ and March 4,\48\ from the Chairs of the Foreign 
Affairs, Oversight and Reform, and Intelligence Committees for 
information related to President Trump's communications with 
Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. As part of this 
effort, the Committees are investigating press reports that 
President Trump may have violated the Presidential Records Act 
(PRA) by destroying documents to keep the details of his 
meetings with Putin secret. The White House Counsel issued a 
response on March 21, criticizing the Chairmen's inquiry and 
refusing to cooperate. This is despite the fact that several 
requests in the March 4 letter are for materials in the control 
of the White House and State Department and that they would be 
required to keep under the Federal Records Act. Multiple 
requests to the Department for an update on this request have 
simply gone unanswered, and the Department has made no efforts 
to engage in the accommodations process.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \47\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, Eliot Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs, Adam B. 
Schiff, Chairman, Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, to Mick Mulvaney, 
Acting Chief of Staff, The White House (Feb. 21, 2019) available at 
https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20190221_-_hfac-cor-
hpsci_letter_to_white_house_re_pra.pdf.
    \48\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, Eliot Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs, Adam B. 
Schiff, Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, Chairman, to Mick Mulvaney, 
Acting Chief of Staff, The White House (Mar. 4, 2019) available at 
https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03-04-19_engel-cummings-
schiff-letter-to-mick-mulvaney-requesting-white-house-putin-interview-
documents.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In another example, the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs, 
Intelligence, and Armed Services Committees expressed concern 
in a May 16 letter about abuse of classification and 
politicization of intelligence regarding Iran and other 
countries in the State Department's annual arms control report 
released in April of this year.\49\ While the Administration 
has agreed to provide an interagency staff-level briefing, it 
has failed to produce any documents about the drafting process 
or the underlying factual information and analysis that 
informed the report's conclusions--conclusions which many 
observers interpreted as laying the groundwork for justifying 
military action against countries covered in the report.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\Letter from Eliot L. Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign 
Affiars; Adam Smith, Chairman, H. Comm. on Armed Services; and Adam 
Schiff, Chairman, H. Perm. Select Comm. on Intelligence, to Mike 
Pomeop, Secretary, Department of State (May 16, 2019) available at 
https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hfac-hasc-hpsci-pompeo-
letter.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating 
allegations made by multiple whistleblowers about efforts 
inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive 
U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The White House has 
not produced a single document despite the Committee's request 
on February 19, 2019.\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \50\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, to Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff, The White House 
(Feb. 19, 2019) available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-02-19.EEC%20to%20Mulvaney-
WH%20re%20IP3.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

j. Preventing White House Oversight

    Across the board, in every investigation, regardless of 
topic, the White House itself has to date refused to produce a 
single document to the Oversight and Reform Committee. During 
this unprecedented obstruction, the White House has challenged 
Congress' core authority to conduct oversight under the 
Constitution, questioned the legislative bases for 
congressional inquiries, objected to committee rules and 
precedents that have been in place for decades under both 
Republican and Democratic leadership, and made baseless legal 
arguments to avoid producing documents and testimony.
    The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating the 
White House and Transition Team security clearance process. 
While the White House has allowed the Committee to review in 
camera a limited number of policy-related documents, it has 
failed to turn over a single page of paper responsive to the 
Committee's requests dated December 19, 2018, January 23, 2019, 
February 11, 2019, March 1, 2019.\51\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on 
Oversight and Gov't. Reform, to John Kelly, Chief of Staff, The White 
House (Dec. 19, 2018) available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2018-12-19.EEC%20to%20Kelly-
WH%20re%20Security%20Clearances-Jan.2017.Updated.pdf; Letter from 
Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, to Pat 
Cipollone, Counsel to the President (Jan. 23, 2019) available at 
https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/
2019-01-23.EEC%20to%20Cipollone-WH%20re%20Security%20Clearances.pdf; 
Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and 
Reform, to Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President (Feb. 11, 2019) 
available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-02-
11.EEC%20to%20Kline%20re%20Transcribed%20Interview_1.pdf; Letter from 
Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, to Pat 
Cipollone, Counsel to the President (Mar. 1, 2019) https://
oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats. oversight.house.gov/files/
documents/2019-03-01.EEC%20to%20Cipollone-
WH%20re%20Security%20Clearances.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee is investigating the use of personal email 
and messaging accounts by non-career officials at the White 
House in violation of White House policy and the Presidential 
Records Act. The Committee made bipartisan requests for 
information and documents dating back to March 8, 2017.\52\ The 
Committee renewed requests on December 19, 2018 and March 21, 
2019, but the White House has failed to produce a single 
document in response.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \52\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on 
Oversight and Gov't. Reform, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Tom 
Carper, to Stefan Passantino, Deputy Counsel to the President (Mar. 8, 
2017) available at https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/
2017_03_08_Letter_on_Kushner_Recusals.pdf.
    \53\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on 
Oversight and Gov't. Reform, to Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President 
(Dec. 19, 2018) available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2018-12-19.EEC%20to%20Cipollone-
WH%20re%20Private%20Emails.pdf; Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, to Pat Cipollone, Counsel 
to the President (Mar. 21, 2019) available at https://
oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-03-
21.EEC%20to%20Cipollone-WH.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee is investigating the Trump Administration's 
use of and failure to disclose ethics waivers and 
authorizations. The Committee requested documents and 
information on May 16, 2019.\54\ The White House has not 
responded to the Committee's request.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight 
and Reform, to Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President (May 16, 2019) 
available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-05-16.EEC%20to%20Cipollone-
WH%20re%20Ethics%20Waivers.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee is investigating White House officials' use 
of government-owned aircraft for personal travel and private 
non-commercial aircraft for official travel. Launched as a 
bipartisan investigation under then-Chairman Gowdy, the 
Committee renewed its requests for documents and information on 
December 19, 2018.\55\ The White House has not provided any 
documents in response to this request and has instead directed 
the Committee to secure the documents and information from 
executive branch federal agencies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \55\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on 
Oversight and Gov't. Reform, to John Kelly, Chief of Staff, The White 
House (Dec. 19, 2018) available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/
UPDATED%20White%20House%20and%20Cabinet%20Member%20Travel.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee is investigating the use of nondisclosure 
agreements imposed on White House staff and whether these gag 
orders include mandatory language safeguarding the rights of 
federally-protected whistleblowers to report waste, fraud, and 
abuse to Congress. The White House has failed to respond to the 
Committee's March 20, 2018 and May 14, 2019, requests for 
documents.\56\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\Letter from Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on 
Oversight and Gov't. Reform, and Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member, H. 
Comm. on Judiciary, to John Kelly, Chief of Staff, The White House 
(Mar. 20, 2018) available at https://oversight.house.gov/sites/
democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2018-03-
20..EEC%20%20Nadler%20to%20WH%20re%20NDAs.pdf; Letter from Elijah E. 
Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform, to Mick Mulvaney, 
Acting Chief of Staff, The White House (May 14, 2019) available at 
https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/
2019-05-14.EEC%20to%20Mulvaney-WH%20re%20NDAs.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

k. Persistent Oversight Obstruction by the Trump Administration

    These examples, while numerous, do not begin to encompass 
every way in which the Trump Administration is obstructing 
constitutional oversight activities by the House. These 
examples paint a stark picture of the depths to which the Trump 
Administration has gone, and continues to go, in refusing to 
respect the system of checks and balances established in our 
Constitution. The obstruction touches every corner of this 
Administration and, in the process, the American people are not 
able to get the answers they need on important issues. Of 
specific note and importance, discussed in the next section, is 
the Trump Administration's refusal to provide all of the 
documents surrounding the investigation into Russian 
interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and the 
obstruction of justice that occurred in the wake of that 
interference.

             The Mueller Report and Obstruction of Justice

    The first resolved clause of H. Res. 430 authorizes the 
Committee on the Judiciary to undertake several legal actions. 
These actions, commonly referred to as ``civil contempt,''\57\ 
include the power to initiate or intervene in federal judicial 
proceedings (1) to enforce the Committee's subpoena issued to 
Attorney General William P. Barr for the Mueller Report as well 
as key underlying evidence; (2) to enforce its subpoena issued 
to former White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn for both 
documents and testimony; and (3) to petition for disclosure of 
information relating to the Mueller Report otherwise protected 
by the grand jury secrecy rules, including where that 
information is sought ``preliminary to . . . a judicial 
proceeding.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \57\See supra note 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Judiciary Committee is seeking these materials in the 
wake of Special Counsel Mueller's findings that, not only did 
Russia interfere in our elections, but that the President 
engaged in multiple acts to exert undue influence over law 
enforcement investigations. More than 1000 former federal 
prosecutors from across the political spectrum have written 
that such conduct, but for the Office of Legal Counsel policy 
against charging sitting presidents, would have resulted in the 
indictment of Donald Trump for serious crimes.\58\ The 
Judiciary Committee's effort to obtain these materials is 
consistent with the views expressed by the House in H. Con. 
Res. 24, which passed unanimously and called for ``the full 
release to Congress of any report, including findings, Special 
Counsel Mueller provides to the Attorney General.''\59\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\Statement by Former Federal Prosecutors (May 6, 2019) (online 
at https://medium.com/@dojalumni/statement-by-former-federal-
prosecutors-8ab7691c2aa1).
    \59\Roll Call Number 125, 116th Cong. (Mar. 14, 2019) 420-0, 4 
present.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The specific details surrounding the Barr subpoena are 
detailed in House Report 116-105 (``contempt report''), which 
was approved by the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 24-16 on 
May 8, 2019. The contempt report details the Judiciary 
Committee's attempts to engage the Justice Department (DOJ) to 
reach a mutually acceptable accommodation regarding access to 
the Mueller Report. Since that time, the Judiciary Committee 
has repeatedly made good faith efforts to accommodate.\60\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\Beginning with a May 10 letter to Attorney General Barr, the 
Judiciary Committee has continued to seek an accommodation with the 
Department. On May 16, 2019, in a letter to White House Counsel Pat 
Cipollone, the Judiciary Committee further affirmed that the 
Committee's staff is ``prepared at any time to resume discussions 
regarding the open issues related to the [Barr Subpoena], as well as 
the many other outstanding requests.'' On May 24, 2019 the Judiciary 
Committee wrote to both Attorney General Barr and the White House 
Counsel Cipollone to make yet another effort at accommodation over the 
subpoena for the Mueller Report. In that letter, the Committee 
unilaterally offered to reduce its request to a discrete list of fewer 
than 100 documents specifically cited in Volume II of the Mueller 
Report. On June 4, 2019, the Department responded that it would resume 
negotiations only if the Committee agreed to ``moot[]'' its May 8 
contempt vote and ``remov[e] any imminent threat'' to hold the Attorney 
General in contempt.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Both during and after its markup, the Judiciary Committee 
has also made clear that it could not accept President Trump's 
assertion of ``executive privilege over the entirety of the 
subpoenaed materials,'' and that this was a ``protective 
assertion'' of the privilege.\61\ On May 10, 2019 the Judiciary 
Committee further explained that DOJ's reliance on the actions 
of President Clinton in 1996 were misplaced and 
inappropriate.\62\ On May 15, the Judiciary Committee held a 
hearing on the issue of executive privilege and several of the 
witnesses--the majority of whom were not only legal scholars 
but had previously served as Executive Branch lawyers--
questioned the appropriateness of the President's assertion of 
executive privilege.\63\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \61\The Judiciary Committee ultimately rejected the President's 
assertion of privilege as insufficient grounds for noncompliance with 
the Committee's subpoena. The Committee voted 20-12 to adopt an 
amendment to the contempt report offered by Chairman Nadler stating, 
among several concerns, that ``the purported protective assertion is 
not a valid claim of privilege, including because executive privilege 
has been broadly waived in this case as a matter of law and fact'' and 
concluding ``the last-minute claims of the `protective' blanket 
assertion of executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed 
materials does not change the fact that Attorney General William P. 
Barr is in contempt of Congress today for failing to turn over lawfully 
subpoenaed documents.''
    \62\In that case, the White House had been producing relevant 
documents to Congress on a rolling basis for nearly a year but required 
a limited amount of time to review certain additional documents before 
a scheduled deadline. Just fifteen days later, the White House 
completed its review and created a privilege log identifying specific 
documents to be withheld; it then provided 1,000 pages of remaining 
documents to Congress. In addition, the documents withheld were not 
created contemporaneously to the matter under investigation and the 
White House had not already waived executive privilege as it has here. 
Moreover, the assertion was not a product of a Presidential declaration 
to fight all congressional subpoenas. As the court held in Committee on 
Oversight & Government Reform v. Lynch, a ``blanket assertion of 
privilege over all records generated after a particular date . . . 
[will not] pass muster,'' without a ``showing . . . that any of the 
individual records satisf[y] the prerequisites for the application of 
the privilege.
    \63\Executive Privilege and Congressional Oversight: Hearing Before 
the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116 Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is also important to note that the Judiciary Committee 
has never suggested it was holding Attorney General Barr in 
contempt for failing to unilaterally release grand jury 
material. As explained in the Judiciary Committee's May 16 
letter to Mr. Cipollone: the subpoena recognizes in the 
instructions that DOJ may withhold any document which it 
believes there is a valid reason not to produce. The Committee 
was requesting only that DOJ join in an application to the 
Court for authorization to release documents withheld pursuant 
to Rule 6(e). The Committee did not pursue contempt based on 
the DOJ's refusal to join in that application, which was made 
clear in the bipartisan support for an amendment reinforcing 
that the contempt was not based on Rule 6(e).\64\ In this 
regard, it is our expectation that, if so requested, a court 
would hold that the Judiciary Committee is entitled as a matter 
of law to have access to grand jury materials currently being 
withheld by the Justice Department.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \64\At its markup the Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment 
offered by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) adding a rule of construction to the 
contempt report providing that ``[n]o provision in this Resolution or 
Report shall be construed as a directive for the Attorney General to 
violate Federal law or rules, including but not limited to Rule 6 of 
the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With respect to Mr. McGahn, on April 22, 2019, Chairman 
Nadler issued a subpoena for testimony and documents related to 
the Committee's investigation following the public release of 
the redacted Mueller Report, which revealed that Mr. McGahn was 
a witness to multiple instances of potential obstruction of 
justice.\65\ The subpoena requested that Mr. McGahn produce 
documents shared with him or his counsel by the White House 
during the Special Counsel's investigation by May 7, 2019 and 
appear to testify before the Committee on May 21, 2019. On May 
7, counsel to Mr. McGahn informed the Committee that the White 
House had instructed him not to produce the requested documents 
``because they implicate significant Executive Branch 
confidentiality interests and executive privilege.''\66\ In its 
response letter, the Committee disputed the validity of the 
White House's invocation of executive privilege and insisted 
that Mr. McGahn comply with the subpoena.\67\ On May 21, 2019, 
the Judiciary Committee held its scheduled hearing on 
``Oversight of the Report by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, 
III: Former White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn, II.''\68\ Mr. 
McGahn did not appear at the hearing. Since that time, the 
Judiciary Committee has continued its efforts to reach an 
accommodation with Mr. McGahn.\69\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\Subpoena by Authority of the House of Representatives of the 
United States of America to Donald F. McGahn for documents and 
testimony, signed by Representative Jerrold Nadler, April 22, 2019, 
available at https://judiciary.house.gov/sites/
democrats.judiciary.house.gov/files/documents/
McGahn%20Subpoena%204.22.19.pdf.
    \66\Letter from William A. Burck to Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary (May 7, 2019). Based on that direction, counsel 
for Mr. McGahn stated his position that, where ``co-equal branches of 
government are making contradictory demands on Mr. McGahn concerning 
the same set of documents, the appropriate response for Mr. McGahn is 
to maintain the status quo unless and until the Committee and the 
Executive Branch can reach an accommodation'' and, therefore, Mr. 
McGahn would not comply with the subpoena. White House Counsel 
Cipollone also wrote the Judiciary Committee on May 7 to inform the 
Committee that ``[t]he White House records remain legally protected 
from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because 
they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interest 
and executive privilege.'' Letter to Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary, from Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President (May 7, 
2019).
    \67\Letter to William A. Burck, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, 
from Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (May 7, 2019). 
The Committee's letter noted that ``[a]s an initial matter, regarding 
the subpoenaed documents, the White House Counsel's letter did not 
actually invoke executive privilege, but rather merely suggested . . . 
that all requested documents implicate significant Executive Branch 
confidential interests and executive privilege.''' The letter further 
explained that ``a subpoena recipient is not excused from compliance 
with [a] Committee's subpoena by virtue of a claim of executive 
privilege that may ultimately be made''' (citing Mem. Op., Comm. on 
Judiciary v. Miers, No. 08-cv-0409-JDB (D.D.C. Jul. 31, 2008), at 91); 
nor can ``a blanket assertion of privilege over all records generated 
after a particular date . . . pass muster,'' without a ``showing . . . 
that any of the individual records satisf[y] the prerequisites for the 
application of the privilege.'' (citing Committee on the Judiciary, 
U.S. House of Representatives v. Miers, 558 F. Supp. 2d 53 (D.D.C. 
2008)). The letter additionally explained that even if the President 
were to properly invoke privilege, any executive privilege has been 
waived as to documents ``that the White House voluntarily disclosed to 
Mr. McGahn and his counsel,'' as affirmed by the in D.C. Circuit in In 
re Sealed Case (Espy), 121 F.3d 729, 741-42 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (``[T]he 
White House waive[s] its claims of privilege in regard to specific 
documents that it voluntarily reveal[s] to third parties outside the 
White House.''') As to Mr. McGahn's own document production 
obligations, the letter reminded Mr. McGahn that the subpoena directly 
requires a privilege log for any document that is ``withheld in full or 
in part on any basis,'' including on ``the basis of a privilege 
asserted by or on behalf of the White House, or at the request of the 
White House,'' and that ``any objections or claims of privilege are 
waived'' upon failure to provide ``an explanation of why full 
compliance is not possible and a log identifying with specificity the 
ground(s) for withholding each withheld document prior to the request 
compliance date.''
    \68\On May 20, 2019, Mr. Cipollone wrote to the Judiciary 
Committee, stating that the Department of Justice ``advised'' him that 
``Mr. McGahn is absolutely immune from compelled congressional 
testimony with respect to matters occurring during his service as a 
senior adviser to the President'' and that, because ``of this 
constitutional immunity, and in order to protect the prerogatives of 
the Office of the Presidency, the President has directed Mr. McGahn not 
to appear at the Committee's scheduled hearing on Tuesday, May 21, 
2019.'' Letter to Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 
from Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President (May 20, 2019). The letter 
attached an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel, dated May 20, 
2019, advising that ``Congress may not constitutionally compel the 
President's senior advisers to testify about their official duties.'' 
Mem. Op., Re: Testimonial Immunity Before Congress of the Former 
Counsel to the President, Office of Legal Counsel (May 20, 2019).
    \69\In a May 31, 2019 letter to Mr. McGahn and Mr. Cipollone, the 
Judiciary Committee's expressed willingness ``to discuss any reasonable 
accommodation(s) that would facilitate Mr. McGahn's appearance before 
the Committee.'' These accommodations included ``limiting the testimony 
to the specific events detailed in the Special Counsel's report, 
identifying with greater specificity the precise areas of intended 
inquiry, and agreeing to the presence of White House counsel during any 
testimony, so that Mr. McGahn may consult regarding the assertion of 
executive privilege.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group and Subpoena Enforcement

    The second resolved clause of H. Res. 430 reaffirms that 
committee chairs, when authorized by the Bipartisan Legal 
Advisory Group (BLAG), retain the ability to bring litigation 
in Federal court to enforce their subpoenas, commonly referred 
to as ``civil contempt'' proceedings.\70\ While the full House 
can vote to authorize a committee to seek relief from federal 
courts to enforce a subpoena duly issued by that committee, it 
is also important to note that this is not the only avenue for 
such authorization available to a committee. Pursuant to clause 
8(b) of rule II of the House of Representatives, the BLAG, 
comprised of the Speaker and the majority and minority 
leaderships, speaks for and articulates the institutional 
position of the House in all litigation matters; this includes 
authorizing a committee to seek civil enforcement of its duly 
issued subpoena. As articulated by the Chair of the Committee 
on Rules in a Congressional Record statement from January 3, 
2019, on civil enforcement of subpoenas pursuant to clause 8(b) 
of rule II:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\See supra note 1.

          Pursuant to this provision, the Bipartisan Legal 
        Advisory Group (BLAG) is delegated the authority to 
        speak for the full House of Representatives with 
        respect to all litigation matters. A vote of the BLAG 
        to authorize litigation and to articulate the 
        institutional position of the House in that litigation, 
        is the equivalent of a vote of the full House of 
        Representatives. For example, in the 115th Congress, 
        the BLAG, pursuant to Rule II(8)(b), authorized House 
        Committees to intervene in ongoing litigation. The BLAG 
        has been delegated this authority for all litigation 
        matters, and I want to be clear that this includes 
        litigation related to the civil enforcement of a 
        Committee subpoena. If a Committee determines that one 
        or more of its duly issued subpoenas has not been 
        complied with and that civil enforcement is necessary, 
        the BLAG, pursuant to House Rule II(8)(b), may 
        authorize the House Office of General Counsel to 
        initiate civil litigation on behalf of this Committee 
        to enforce the Committee's subpoena(s) in federal 
        district court.\71\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\165 Cong. Rec. 1, H30 (daily ed. Jan. 3, 2019) (statement of 
Chairman James P. McGovern)

    Use of the BLAG to authorize a committee to seek relief 
from a federal court to enforce a subpoena duly issued by that 
committee is instrumental in ensuring the House is able to 
protect its constitutional duty to conduct effective oversight 
of the Executive Branch. Given the unprecedented and systemic 
way in which the Trump Administration has refused to comply 
with duly issued congressional subpoenas thus far, there is no 
reason to believe the Executive Branch will change course. As 
such, the BLAG, speaking for the House, provides the most 
efficient way for the House to combat this widespread and 
unprecedented obstruction going forward, providing committees 
an avenue to enforce their subpoenas, while still providing the 
institution with the time to pursue its other constitutional 
duties.
    It is important to note that House committees have 
previously been found by the courts to have legal standing to 
seek relief from federal courts to enforce their subpoenas. The 
Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has recognized ``that the 
House as a whole has standing to assert its investigatory 
power, and can designate a member to act on its behalf.''\72\ 
Moreover, federal district courts in the past have found that a 
standing committee has legal standing to pursue relief in 
court, and have ruled in favor of committees alleging injuries 
nearly identical to those that would be alleged in a lawsuit to 
enforce compliance with a subpoena as authorized by this 
resolution.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \72\United States v. AT&T, 551 F.2d 384, 391 (D.C. Cir. 1976).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers, the Judiciary 
Committee, as part of its investigation into the politically 
motivated firing of several U.S. Attorneys by the George W. 
Bush Administration, sought civil enforcement of its subpoena 
in federal court. The district court ruled for the Committee, 
holding it had standing to enforce its subpoena. The court 
rejected the White House's claim of absolute immunity from 
testimony, and ordered the production of a ``detailed list and 
description'' of the documents ``with[e]ld on the basis of 
executive privilege sufficient to enable resolution of any 
privilege claims.''\73\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \73\Comm. on Judiciary v. Miers, 558 F.Supp. 2d 53, 107 (D.D.C. 
2008). While the Obama Administration and House of Representatives 
negotiated a resolution without an appellate resolution, the district 
court's decision, at the House's insistence, was not withdrawn. Irvin 
B. Nathan, Protecting the House's Institutional Prerogative To Enforce 
its Subpoenas (The Constitution Project--When Congress Comes Calling, 
2nd ed., 2017), available at https://constitutionproject.org/wp-
content/uploads/2017/05/HouseSubpoenas.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Similarly, in Committee on Oversight & Government Reform v. 
Holder, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform 
investigated ``Operation Fast and Furious'' and related 
operations by the ATF and U.S. Attorney's Offices designed to 
track illegal gun sales to Mexican gun cartels. After having 
received some documents from the Department of Justice 
responsive to its requests, the Oversight Committee subpoenaed 
a lengthy and comprehensive set of documents. On June 19, 2012, 
President Obama asserted privilege over these documents; 
Attorney General Holder was thereafter held in contempt by the 
House; and the Oversight Committee pursued a civil action to 
obtain access to the documents. Agreeing with Miers, the 
District Court made clear that the Oversight Committee had 
standing to enforce its subpoena and the court had authority to 
decide the case.\74\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \74\See Comm. on Oversight & Gov't Reform v. Holder, 979 F. Supp. 
2d 1, 9-26 (D.D.C. 2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

         House's Commitment to Responsible Article I Oversight

    The third resolved clause of H. Res. 430 specifies that 
standing and permanent select committees seeking to enforce 
their subpoenas in court under the Resolution have any and all 
necessary authority under Article I of the Constitution. The 
authority is included because of widespread and credible 
allegations of misconduct and abuse of power by President Trump 
as well as the President's extreme if not unprecedented actions 
seeking to cover up and obstruct committee investigations. 
President Trump has openly declared his opposition to, and 
intent to block, Congress' exercise of its constitutional, 
legislative, and oversight responsibilities. Earlier this year, 
he vowed, ``We're fighting all the subpoenas,'' and ``I don't 
want people testifying.''\75\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \75\See supra note 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed, the ``scope 
of [Congress's] power of inquiry . . . is as penetrating and 
far-reaching as the potential power to enact and appropriate 
under the Constitution.''\76\ It ``has been employed by 
Congress throughout our history, over the whole range of 
national interests concerning which Congress might legislate or 
decide upon due investigation not to legislate.''\77\ Moreover, 
the ``power to secure needed information'' through compulsory 
process, when needed, is ``an essential and appropriate 
auxiliary to the legislative function.''\78\ Without access to 
necessary information, Congress would be unable to ``legislate 
widely or effectively.''\79\ Additionally, neither the 
Executive Branch nor the courts may second-guess or ``test[] 
the motives'' of Congress when Congress seeks to enforce its 
subpoena authority.\80\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \76\Eastland v. U.S. Servicemen's Fund, 421 U.S. 491, 50 n.15 
(1975).
    \77\Barenblatt v. United States, 360 U.S. 109, 111 (1959).
    \78\McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U.S. 135, 161, 174 (1927); see also 
Eastland, 421 U.S. at 504 (``[i]ssuance of subpoenas . . . has long 
been held to be a legitimate use by Congress of its power to 
investigate'').
    \79\McGrain, 273 U.S. at 175.
    \80\Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 200 (1957); see also 
McGrain, 273 U.S. at 178 (``[w]e are bound to presume that the action 
of the legislative body was with a legitimate legislative object'' 
(internal quotations omitted)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accordingly, this resolved clause is intended to make clear 
that the committees have ``all necessary authorities under 
Article I'' to enforce subpoenas for witnesses and documents. 
To the extent any issues arise that concern overlapping areas 
of jurisdiction among the committees, or uncertainties 
regarding committees' respective jurisdictions, this clause 
confirms that each committee has the full authority of the 
House of Representatives to enforce its subpoenas. Committees 
may, in connection with exercising their authority under this 
resolved clause, choose to specify the precise constitutional 
powers upon which they are relying, as well as the legitimate 
legislative purposes and details of their work within the full 
bounds of their authority under Article I, whether at or in 
connection with hearings, in Committee reports, memoranda, or 
through other means.
    An example of a Committee being able to use ``all necessary 
authority under Article I of the Constitution'' is illustrated 
by the Judiciary Committee's contempt report, 116-105, which 
explained the purposes of its investigation include: ``(1) 
investigating and exposing any possible malfeasance, abuse of 
power, corruption, obstruction of justice, or other misconduct 
on the part of the President or other Members of his 
Administration; 2) considering whether the conduct uncovered 
may warrant amending or creating new federal authorities, 
including among other things, relating to election security, 
campaign finance, misuse of electronic data, and the types of 
obstructive conduct that the Mueller Report describes; and 3) 
considering whether any of the conduct described in the Special 
Counsel's Report warrants the Committee in taking any further 
steps under Congress' Article 1 powers.'' The Judiciary 
Committee's report states that this includes whether to 
recommend ``articles of impeachment with respect to the 
President or any other Administration official, as well as the 
consideration of other steps such as censure or issuing 
criminal, civil or administrative referrals.'' The Committee 
further noted that, ``No determination has been made as to such 
further actions, and the Committee needs to review the 
unredacted report, the underlying evidence, and associated 
documents so that it can ascertain the facts and consider its 
next steps.''\81\ As noted above, this resolution also 
authorizes the Judiciary Committee to assert in court that it 
is seeking information preliminary to a judicial proceeding.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \81\Contempt report at 21, specifying the scope of the Committee's 
investigation with respect to which the information in the Barr and 
McGahn subpoenas is sought.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Use of the full range of Article I authorities under this 
Resolution is necessary to address the President and his 
Administration's extensive efforts to stonewall congressional 
oversight and to block enforcement of congressional 
subpoenas.\82\ These measures include the unprecedented 
defiance of committee subpoenas on the ground that the 
committee lacks a ``legitimate legislative purpose''\83\; 
assertions of executive privilege\84\ and absolute immunity 
without a valid basis\85\; and withholding of information based 
on other grounds that lack a statutory basis.\86\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \82\As the Committee on the Judiciary explained when it recommended 
articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, when a 
President ``fail[s] without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers 
and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas,'' he ``violat[es] 
[] his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully 
executed.'' The President cannot be permitted to ``interpos[e] the 
powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of 
Representatives.'' H. Rep. 93-1305 (1974) pp 1-4.
    \83\Complaint at 3, Trump v. Comm. on Oversight & Reform of the 
United States House of Representatives, No. CV 01136 (``Chairman 
Cummings' subpoena of Mazars lacks a legitimate legislative 
purpose.'').
    \84\Letter to Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 
from Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President (May 20, 2019).
    \85\Mem. Op., Re: Testimonial Immunity Before Congress of the 
Former Counsel to the President, Office of Legal Counsel (May 20, 
2019).
    \86\Attorney General Barr redacted significant portions of the 
Mueller Report, for example, on the ground that disclosure of those 
portions to Congress could harm ongoing law enforcement investigations, 
compromise personal privacy of third parties, or compromise 
investigative sources and methods. See Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, 
Chairman, H. Comm on the Judiciary from William Barr, Attorney General 
(Mar. 29, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is in the interests of the House and the committees 
first and foremost to achieve reasonable and good faith 
accommodations with the Administration regarding any and all 
outstanding requests, whether or not they are pursuant to duly 
issued subpoenas. The record of this Congress as set forth in 
this report and otherwise make that clear. Those efforts remain 
ongoing of course. Notwithstanding the provisions of this 
Resolution, it is to be expected the relevant committees will 
continue their efforts to reach accommodation whenever 
possible.

                               Conclusion

    In examining this constant and ongoing stonewalling, it is 
clear that President Trump and his Administration do not 
recognize Congress as a co-equal branch of government with 
independent constitutional oversight authority. The systemic 
and widespread nature of the obstruction indicates it will 
continue in both breadth and brazenness. If allowed to go 
unchecked, the Trump Administration's obstruction means the end 
of Congressional oversight and the erosion of the fundamental 
bedrock principle of checks and balances that anchors our 
Constitution and form of government. This Democratic Majority 
is committed to defending Congress' power as an independent 
branch of government to hold this or any administration 
accountable. It is because of this unprecedented stonewalling 
by the Trump Administration that the House will take the rare 
and important step to consider this resolution authorizing the 
Judiciary Committee to enforce its duly issued subpoenas 
relating to the vitally important Mueller Report and reaffirms 
that all committees have the ability, when authorized by the 
House or the BLAG, to turn to the Federal courts to enforce its 
subpoenas to get the information they need to conduct effective 
oversight. House Democrats will continue to legislate, 
investigate, and litigate within our Constitutional authority 
and for the American people. House Resolution 430 gets to that 
end.

                                HEARINGS

    The Committee on Rules did not hold a hearing on this 
measure. While Sec. 103(i) of H. Res. 6 provides a point of 
order against any bill or joint resolution reported by 
committee if the report does not contain a list of relevant 
committee and subcommittee hearings, which includes the 
designation of at least one such hearing that was used to 
develop or consider the underlying measure, as a simple 
resolution, this measure is not subject to that requirement.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    The Committee on Rules met on June 10, 2019, in open 
session and ordered H. Res. 430, favorably reported with an 
amendment to the House by a record vote of 8 yeas and 4 nays, a 
quorum being present.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto. 
A motion by Mr. Perlmutter to report the resolution, as 
amended, to the House with a favorable recommendation was 
agreed to by a record vote of 8 yeas and 4 nays, a quorum being 
present. The names of Members voting for and against follow:

Rules Committee record vote No. 107

    Motion by Mr. Perlmutter to report the resolution, as 
amended, to the House with a favorable recommendation. Agreed 
to: 8 yeas and 4 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Nay
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Yea   Mr. Woodall.......................          Nay
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Yea   Mr. Burgess.......................          Nay
Mr. Raskin......................................          Yea   Mrs. Lesko........................          Nay
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Yea
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Yea
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Yea
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Yea
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Yea
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The committee also considered the following amendments on 
which record votes were requested. The names of Members voting 
for and against follow:

Rules Committee record vote No. 99

    Motion by Mr. Cole to postpone consideration of H. Res. 430 
indefinitely, pursuant to clause 4(a)(7) of House Rule XVI. Not 
Agreed to: 4 yeas and 8 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Yea
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Nay   Mr. Woodall.......................          Yea
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Nay   Mr. Burgess.......................          Yea
Mr. Raskin......................................          Nay   Mrs. Lesko........................          Yea
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Nay
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Nay
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Nay
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rules Committee record vote No. 100

    Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute 
offered by Mr. Cole to require that before the chair of the 
Committee on the Judiciary seeks such relief as described in 
the first resolved clause, he certify in writing to the Clerk 
of the House that he has personally reviewed all official 
Government reports related to the subpoena that is the subject 
of the resolution accompanying House Report 116-105. Not Agreed 
to: 4 yeas to 8 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Yea
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Nay   Mr. Woodall.......................          Yea
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Nay   Mr. Burgess.......................          Yea
Mr. Raskin......................................          Nay   Mrs. Lesko........................          Yea
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Nay
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Nay
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Nay
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rules Committee record vote No. 101

    Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute 
offered by Mr. Cole to require that before the chair of the 
Committee on the Judiciary seeks such relief as described in 
the first resolving clause the chair shall certify in writing 
to the Clerk of the House of Representatives that he has made a 
good faith effort to negotiate with the Attorney General 
regarding such subpoena. Not Agreed to: 4 yeas and 8 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Yea
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Nay   Mr. Woodall.......................          Yea
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Nay   Mr. Burgess.......................          Yea
Mr. Raskin......................................          Nay   Mrs. Lesko........................          Yea
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Nay
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Nay
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Nay
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rules Committee record vote No. 102

    Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute 
offered by Mrs. Lesko to require that the Office of General 
Counsel of the House of Representatives shall periodically 
report to the House of Representatives the expenditures 
incurred with respect to any judicial proceeding initiated or 
intervened in pursuant to the authority described in the first 
resolving clause. Not Agreed to: 4 yeas and 8 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Yea
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Nay   Mr. Woodall.......................          Yea
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Nay   Mr. Burgess.......................          Yea
Mr. Raskin......................................          Nay   Mrs. Lesko........................          Yea
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Nay
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Nay
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Nay
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rules Committee record vote No. 103

    Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute 
offered by Mr. Burgess to provide that the Office of General 
Counsel of the House of Representatives may not hire any person 
who is a registered lobbyist under the Lobbying Disclosure Act 
of 1995 or who is employed by a lobbying firm (as such term is 
defined in section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 
U.S.C. 1602)). Not Agreed to: 4 yeas and 8 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Yea
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Nay   Mr. Woodall.......................          Yea
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Nay   Mr. Burgess.......................          Yea
Mr. Raskin......................................          Nay   Mrs. Lesko........................          Yea
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Nay
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Nay
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Nay
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rules Committee record vote No. 104

    Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute 
offered by Mr. Cole to require that in the case of any judicial 
proceeding initiated or intervened in pursuant to the authority 
described in the first resolving clause, the Office of General 
Counsel of the House of Representatives shall provide to the 
Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, and make available to any 
Member of the House of Representatives upon request, a 
description of, in the opinion of the General Counsel, the 
likelihood of success on the merits and strategy for addressing 
the decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of 
Columbia in McKeever v. Barr No. 17-5149 (D.C. Cir. 2019). Not 
Agreed to: 4 yeas and 8 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Yea
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Nay   Mr. Woodall.......................          Yea
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Nay   Mr. Burgess.......................          Yea
Mr. Raskin......................................          Nay   Mrs. Lesko........................          Yea
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Nay
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Nay
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Nay
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rules Committee record vote No. 105

    Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute 
offered by Mr. Woodall to provide that 10 days prior to hiring 
a lawyer or a consultant for the purpose of initiating or 
intervening in a judicial proceeding pursuant to the authority 
described in the first or second resolving clause, the Office 
of General Counsel of the House of Representatives shall 
provide to the Clerk of the House of Representatives and make 
available to any Member of the House of Representatives upon 
request the intended contract containing the terms of hire. Not 
Agreed to: 4 yeas and 8 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Yea
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Nay   Mr. Woodall.......................          Yea
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Nay   Mr. Burgess.......................          Yea
Mr. Raskin......................................          Nay   Mrs. Lesko........................          Yea
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Nay
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Nay
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Nay
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rules Committee record vote No. 106

    Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute 
offered by Mr. Burgess to require that in the case of any 
judicial proceeding initiated or intervened in pursuant to the 
authority described in the first or second resolving clause, 
the chair of the relevant committee shall provide to the Clerk 
of the House of Representatives and make available to any 
Member of the House of Representatives upon request the source 
of the funds used to pay the costs associated with such 
judicial proceeding, including any corresponding reduction in 
the budget of any office or committee. Not Agreed to: 4 yeas 
and 8 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Hastings....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Yea
Mrs. Torres.....................................          Nay   Mr. Woodall.......................          Yea
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Nay   Mr. Burgess.......................          Yea
Mr. Raskin......................................          Nay   Mrs. Lesko........................          Yea
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Nay
Ms. Shalala.....................................          Nay
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Nay
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee made findings and 
recommendations that are reflected in this report.

                    PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee establishes the 
following performance related goals and objectives for this 
legislation:
    The resolution authorizes the chair of the Committee on the 
Judiciary, acting on behalf of the committee, to initiate or 
intervene in any judicial proceeding before a Federal court to 
seek enforcement of certain subpoenas duly issued by the 
committee. The resolution reaffirms the ability of any 
committee and permanent select committee, when authorized by 
the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, to initiate or intervene 
in any judicial proceeding before a Federal court to seek 
enforcement of its duly issued subpoena. The resolution also 
states that, in connection with any judicial proceeding brought 
under the authorities described, the chair of any standing or 
permanent select committee has any and all necessary authority 
under Article I of the Constitution. The resolution requires 
that when a committee initiates or intervenes in a civil 
enforcement action in Federal court pursuant to the resolution 
that the chair of that committee must notify the House.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    First Resolved Clause. This clause provides independent 
authority for the chair of the Committee on the Judiciary, on 
behalf of the Committee, to initiate or intervene in any 
judicial proceeding before a Federal court to seek enforcement 
of the subpoenas duly issued to William P. Barr, Attorney 
General, U.S. Department of Justice, and Donald F. McGahn, II, 
former White House Counsel.
    Second Resolved Clause. This clause reaffirms that the 
chair of each standing and permanent select committee, when 
authorized by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, retains the 
ability to initiate or intervene in any judicial proceeding 
before a Federal court on behalf of such committee, to seek the 
enforcement of any subpoena duly issued by the committee.
    Third Resolved Clause. This clause ensures that in 
connection with any judicial proceedings brought under the 
authorities described, the chair of any standing or permanent 
select committee has any and all necessary authority under 
Article I of the Constitution.
    Fourth Resolved Clause. This clause requires that the chair 
of any standing or permanent select committee notify the House 
with respect to the commencement of any judicial proceeding 
pursuant to the authorities described.
    Fifth Resolved Clause. This clause allows the Office of the 
General Counsel, when authorized by the Speaker, to represent 
any standing or permanent select committee in any judicial 
proceeding initiated or intervened in pursuant to the authority 
described in the resolution.
    Sixth Resolved Clause. This clause provides that the Office 
of the General Counsel is authorized to retain private counsel, 
either for pay or pro bono, to assist in the representation of 
any standing or select committee in any judicial proceeding 
initiated or intervened in pursuant to the authorities 
described in the resolution.

  CHANGES IN EXISTING HOUSE RULES MADE BY THE RESOLUTION, AS REPORTED

    In compliance with clause 3(g) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that this 
resolution does not propose to repeal or amend a standing rule 
of the House.

                            Dissenting Views

    H. Res. 430 is the latest misstep in the Democratic 
Majority's journey to shadow impeach the President. 
Unfortunately, this measure does not adequately provide a 
pathway for the U.S. House of Representatives to fulfill its 
Article I responsibilities and conduct prudent and targeted 
oversight. As such, we cannot support it. The options before 
the Democratic Majority to acquire the information they seek 
are numerous, yet the tool they selected and enshrined in H. 
Res. 430 is unwieldly and ineffective at best, and at worst, 
places the credibility of the institution in court and in the 
hands of an untested legal theory.
    We would be remiss if we did not express our disappointment 
that the Majority held no legislative hearings on the text and 
moved directly to a Full Committee Markup a mere four days 
after introduction, with only six Members of the Democratic 
Majority joining as cosponsors. Not to mention neglecting to 
have the very Chairman who authorized the underlying subpoenas 
referenced in the text testify before the Rules Committee. As 
we seek to understand the Majority's expedited consideration of 
H. Res. 430, we find the following statement from a member of 
the Democratic Caucus instructive:

          ``Yes, we simply do not have 400 days to wait before 
        making sure that we are protected in the 2020 election. 
        We know that in 2016, the Russians interfered with our 
        election so that they could help Donald Trump get 
        elected. Donald Trump will stand for reelection again 
        in a very short period of time, and we don't have 400 
        days to wait to determine whether or not we are in 
        shape to withstand any additional attempts for the 
        Russians to try to interfere to help Trump get 
        reelected.''\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\May 8, 2019 House Judiciary Committee Business Meeting at 148.

    Members of the Democratic Majority have previously 
articulated the key flaws we see in the entire process leading 
this Committee to consider H. Res. 430, and indeed, in the 
premise of the resolution itself. While these comments were 
written in defense of a previous attorney general, they 
perfectly apply to the situation before this Committee and 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
ultimately the full House:

          ``As a Member of Congress, I treat assertions of 
        executive privilege very seriously. I believe they 
        should be used only sparingly. In this case, it seems 
        clear the Administration was forced into a position by 
        the committee's insistence on pushing forward with 
        contempt. Despite the Attorney General's good-faith 
        offer, Mr. Chairman, it did not have to be this way. We 
        could have postponed today's vote and accepted the 
        Attorney General's offer. Instead, by not honoring the 
        Constitution's charge to seek accommodations when 
        possible, the prestige of this committee has been 
        diminished. As a result, that should concern us 
        all.''\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Statement of Congressman Elijah Cummings. Oversight and 
Government Reform Committee, Report Recommending that the House of 
Representatives Find Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, U.S. 
Department of Justice, in Contempt of Congress for Refusal To Comply 
With A Subpoena Duly Issued By The Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform, June 20, 2012. Available at: https://republicans-
oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/6-19-12-Fast-and-
Furious-Contempt-Report.pdf.

    While the resolution contains a number of drafting flaws, 
we find three grave errors in the fundamental premise of the 
legislation that are deserving of this body's careful 
consideration and deliberation before further rushing to a vote 
of the full House. It should also be of interest to Members of 
this distinguished institution that during consideration of H. 
Res. 430, we attempted to reach across the aisle to offer 
solutions to some of the most basic, technical problems with 
the drafting of the legislation, including ensuring that 
registered lobbyists would not be paid by the House, and 
therefore the American taxpayer, under the authorities provided 
in H. Res. 430. This amendment, which was supported by our 
Democratic colleagues in a previous Congress, was rejected by 
every Democratic member of the Rules Committee--giving us 
significant pause for the future of this institution in the 
hands of this Democratic Majority.

        The Resolution is Unprecedented in Speed and Sequencing

    The U.S. House of Representatives has only sued for 
documents twice, and in both cases the individuals in question 
were first found in contempt of Congress at both the committee 
level and by the full House. In the case of Attorney General 
William P. Barr and Mr. Donald F. McGahn, the Democratic 
Majority has opted not to hold these individuals in contempt of 
Congress at this time despite taking action in the House 
Judiciary Committee. This strategy is unprecedented in the 
House. Never before has this institution moved to sue without 
exercising all of its options to get the information it 
desires, including first voting on criminal contempt. Not only 
is H. Res. 430 unprecedented in the sequencing of events, but 
also in the timeframe in which the actions compare to the two 
previous instances.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     First Request      Subpoena until
                                   until Contempt in      Contempt in
                                       Committee           Committee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
William Barr....................  44 days...........  19 days
Eric Holder.....................  464 days..........  255 days
Harriet Miers...................  138 days..........  42 days
------------------------------------------------------------------------

            The Resolution Increases Risk to the Institution

    The path that H. Res. 430 forces the House upon puts this 
institution on weak legal footing in the eyes of the court. 
When the House sued for documents in the two previous instances 
noted above, the government officials were first held in 
contempt. In other words, the House had utilized all the tools 
in its toolbox. That is not the case here. These untested 
tactics risk the House losing in court, causing long-term 
damage to the institution and an utter waste of taxpayer 
resources--both time and financial. The debate over the 
inclusion of 6(e) materials in the underlying subpoena related 
to Attorney General Barr is of particular relevance here. While 
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has made 
numerous statements, including in a May 24, 2019 letter to the 
Department of Justice, that his Committee is not seeking any 
documents that are properly subject to Rule 6(e), the very 
subpoena he issued, and referenced in paragraph one of H. Res. 
430, applies to 6(e) materials, making it impossible for 
Attorney General Barr to fully comply with the subpoena without 
breaking the law. As highlighted in the House Judiciary 
Committee's dissenting views in House Report 116-105:
    At the Committee business meeting to discuss the contempt 
citation, Chairman Nadler acknowledged a difference between the 
intent of the subpoena and the language in the actual subpoena 
itself. Amidst a discussion about grand jury (``6(e)'') 
material--which would require the Attorney General to break the 
law in order to produce to the Committee--the Chairman stated:
    The reason that was in the subpoena was to increase our 
clout in court in getting the 6(e) material, hopefully with the 
Attorney General's support, but it is in no way meant to force 
him to give that support.
    This astonishing admission strikes at the heart of the 
matter: the Chairman is not interested in obtaining documents 
through the accommodations process but rather positioning 
himself for litigation.
    Further, after acknowledging it was not the Chairman's 
intent to include this grand jury material, he stated:

          No, we are not going to issue a new subpoena. We have 
        no intention and never had any intention of enforcing--
        of trying to force the Attorney General or anyone else 
        to give us 6(e) material without going to court.

    The Chairman also stated:

          . . . it has never been our intention, as we have 
        stated before, to ask the Attorney General to violate 
        the law. We have always intended and we have made it 
        very clear that we wanted him to come to court with us 
        to ask for an exemption to Rule 6(e).

    These statements indicate the Chairman's goal all along was 
to go to court and not engage in the accommodations process. If 
the Chairman believed the material could not be obtained absent 
going to court, he could have carved out language to that 
effect in the subpoena or an accompanying cover letter. He did 
not do this. Instead, he expects the Attorney General to go to 
court seeking this material--something the Chairman has 
provided no precedent for--and moved to hold him in contempt in 
part because the Attorney General did not do this.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Dissenting views in H. Rept. 116-105--Resolution Recommending 
That The House Of Representatives Find William P. Barr, Attorney 
General, U.S. Department Of Justice, In Contempt Of Congress For 
Refusal To Comply With A Subpoena Duly Issued By The Committee On The 
Judiciary, Jun. 6,2019, pp. 24-41. Available at: https://
www.congress.gov/116/crpt/hrpt105/CRPT-16hrpt105.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To be clear, the Attorney General's refusal to go to court 
along with Chairman Nadler is in no way a proper demand of the 
Chair, nor should be considered a proper basis for this 
proposed action of the House.
    During the April 3, 2019 House Judiciary Committee markup 
authorizing the subpoena referenced in (1)(A) of H. Res. 430, 
Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) offered an amendment stating:

          This Resolution shall not be construed as authorizing 
        the Chairman to issue a subpoena for the production of 
        information where such production would violate Rule 
        6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Markup of Resolution authorizing issuance of subpoena, H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary, 116th Cong., 1st Session, Apr. 3, 2019, Amendment--
Buck #2, available at: https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/
ByEvent.aspx?EventID=109260.

    Meaning that the subpoena in question wouldn't cover 6(e) 
materials, ensuring that the Attorney General of the United 
States would not be forced to choose between complying with 
subpoena or complying with the law. Chairman Nadler and every 
Democratic Member of the Judiciary Committee voted against this 
amendment and it was rejected by a vote of 24-16.
    On April 9, 2019, the Congressional Research Service 
released a ``Legal Sidebar'' on a DC District Court decision 
McKeever v. Holder:

          On April 5, 2019, the three-judge panel in McKeever 
        ruled that federal courts lack ``inherent authority'' 
        to authorize the disclosure of grand jury matters in 
        circumstances not covered by an explicit exception set 
        out in Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal 
        Procedure. It thus appears that, for the time being, 
        the panel's decision has closed off one potential 
        avenue for Congress to obtain grand jury material in 
        federal court in the District of Columbia (though the 
        decision could always be reheard en banc or overturned 
        by the Supreme Court).
          That said, as the McKeever decision notes, Congress 
        previously was successful in obtaining grand jury 
        materials pursuant to the Rule 6(e) exception for 
        disclosure ``preliminarily to or in connection with a 
        judicial proceeding'' on the theory that an authorized 
        impeachment inquiry is preliminary to such a 
        proceeding. That avenue appears to remain available to 
        Congress after McKeever.
          Furthermore, Congress has in the past taken the 
        position that it possesses independent constitutional 
        authority to obtain grand jury materials regardless of 
        the applicability of any Rule 6(e) exceptions--i.e., 
        that the rule of grand jury secrecy simply does not 
        apply to Congress when it is acting within the ``sphere 
        of legitimate legislative activity.'' But while two 
        courts have appeared to agree with that position, the 
        Department of Justice (and some other courts) have 
        contested it.\5\

    \5\Foster, Michael, ``Do Courts Have Inherent Authority to Release 
Secret Grand Jury Materials?''. CRS Legal Sidebar, April 9. 2019. 
Available at: https://www.crs.gov/Reports/
LSB10201?source=search&guid=e30d31d0ce6e40d6b61875dcf4867487&index=0.

    The McKeever decision is instructive to the consideration 
of H. Res. 430 in a few areas:
     As the court ruled that federal courts lack 
``inherent authority'' to authorize the disclosure of grand 
jury matters in circumstances not covered by an explicit 
exception set out in Rule 6(e), the subpoena authorized by 
Chairman Nadler is inherently flawed and unenforceable.
     Pursuing civil action to enforce a subpoena 
covering material that federal courts cannot authorize 
virtually ensures the House will lose and inflict long-term 
damage on the institution through flawed and untested legal 
theories.
     The decision notes that Congress previously was 
successful in obtaining grand jury materials pursuant to the 
Rule 6(e) exception for disclosure ``preliminarily to or in 
connection with a judicial proceeding'' on the theory that an 
authorized impeachment inquiry is preliminary to such a 
proceeding. In the situation before us, clear distinctions are 
drawn between the previous legal success where the individuals 
in question were first held in contempt, and the current 
context in which the full House as not taken a single vote as 
it relates to contempt.

              The Resolution is the Least Effective Means

    Other than securing news headlines, it is largely unclear 
what Chairman Nadler and Chairman McGovern are trying to 
accomplish, as this resolution upends process, bipartisanship, 
and the foundation needed for this institution to have the best 
chance of success in court. While H. Res. 430 purports to 
replace the need for a vote of the Full House for the vote of 
the three Majority Members of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory 
Group, this structure only furthers our concern that taking 
away the voice of the Full House on an issue of the 
Constitutional separation of powers will lead to long term 
damage to the institution. The risk assumed by passage of this 
resolution leads us to believe that success in court and the 
preservation of this institution is unfortunately being 
neglected for other priorities of the Majority.
    Leading us to again wonder, why are countless hours being 
wasted to consider this legislation now when arguably, the 
Democratic Majority could have done this months ago. We had 
hoped their neglect to do so was evidence of their 
understanding of the dangerous long-term implications of this 
approach, but circumstances show otherwise.
    While the actions of the Democratic Majority have left us 
with little confidence that our concerns will be taken into 
account in their abandonment of governing for the sake of 
singular fixation on the results of the 2016 General Election, 
we hope they will at least consider the poignant words of one 
of their own chairmen:

          ``Why are we steamrolling ahead on a matter of such 
        gravity? The answer is plain and simple: politics.''
          ``I want this institution to be strong, I also want 
        the executive branch to be strong. That's part of our 
        duty, too. But when I see accommodation, when I see the 
        Attorney General trying to work with us [ . . . ] We 
        are very close to maintaining the integrity of both 
        institutions. The Constitution calls for accommodation 
        of each other and respect for each other.''
          ``It's not my way or the highway, that's not how we 
        operate.''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Statement of Congressman Elijah Cummings. Rules Committee 
Hearing on H. Res. 706 and H. Res. 711, 112th Cong., 2nd Session, Jun. 
27, 2012 available at: https://rules.house.gov/video/rules-committee-
hearing-h-res-706-and-h-res-711.


                                   Tom Cole.
                                   Rob Woodall.
                                   Michael C. Burgess.
                                   Debbie Lesko.