Press Releases

Judiciary Dems Send Letter to Goodlatte after Republicans Double down on Refusal to Conduct Trump Oversight; Silence Dem Voices during Markup

Washington, DC, September 15, 2017


Today, all House Judiciary Committee Democrats sent a letter to Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) after Republicans sabotaged a markup of Representatives David Cicilline (RI-01) and Pramila Jayapal’s (WA-07)  resolution of inquiry last week that requested the Trump Administration to release information pertaining to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Sessions’ involvement in that decision.

In their letter, Democrats expressed concerns over Chairman Goodlatte “calling the previous question” – a procedural move that shut down debate in its entirety and denied Democrats an opportunity to discuss the bill further.

Full text of the letter is available here.

When the original version of the resolution was considered in July, Judiciary Republicans hijacked the markup using a similar tactic by replacing the content of the bill with Hillary Clinton conspiracies sourced from a pro-Trump forum hosted by Reddit.

During last week’s markup, Democrats walked out and took to Facebook Live after Chairman Goodlatte shut down debate.

Watch here and here.

BACKGROUND:   House Judiciary Committee Democrats have long been calling for House Judiciary Republicans to provide proper oversight of Trump and his Administration. Democrats have written to Chairman Goodlatte six times to request hearings and have also sent several letters to Speaker Paul Ryan, the Department of Justice and the White House requesting related information. These letters have gone unanswered and House Judiciary Republicans have so far blocked Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s (D-NY) resolution of inquiry, Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Ted Lieu’s (D-CA) resolution of inquiry, and the original Jayapal/Cicilline resolution, from reaching the House floor.  Instead, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee continue to do Trump’s bidding. Committee Republican Rep. Ron Desantis (R-FL) has even introduced an amendment to end Robert Mueller’s investigation.

A resolution of inquiry is a legislative tool that has privileged parliamentary status, meaning it can be brought to the floor if the relevant committee hasn’t reported it within 14 legislative days, even if the Majority leadership has not scheduled it for a vote.