The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing Tuesday to look into allegations of obstruction from a stunning number of government watchdogs. 47 Inspectors General are accusing the Obama administration of stonewalling their investigations. Three of them were on the panel and and the rest of the IGs were in the room watching.
This was Rep Jason Chaffetz’s first hearing as the new Chairman of the committee.
The Peace Corps, Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department inspectors general each argued to members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that some of their investigations had been thwarted or stalled by officials who refused to release necessary information to their offices.
Committee members from both parties doubled down on criticisms of the Justice Department’s lack of transparency and called for solutions to the government-wide problem during their first official hearing of the 114th Congress.
“If you can’t do your job, then we can’t do our job in Congress,” Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told the three witnesses and the scores of agency watchdogs who also attended, including the Department of Homeland Security and General Service Administration inspectors general.
Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, testified that the FBI began reviewing requested documents in 2010 in what he said was a clear violation of federal law that is supposed to grant watchdogs unfettered access to agency records.
The FBI’s process, which involves clearing the release of documents with the attorney general or deputy attorney general, “seriously impairs inspector general independence, creates excessive delays, and may lead to incomplete, inaccurate or significantly delayed findings or recommendations,” Horowitz said.
You can watch videos from the hearing, here.
Trey Gowdy went On the Record with Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night to talk about the hearing.
These “independent auditors” are entitled to all documents and materials they request per statute, but they’re being stonewalled by the Regime.
Asked by Greta what could be done about the stonewalling, Gowdy answered, “you have to hit them in the only place anyone in Washington ever feels and that’s the back pocket. Get the appropriators in the House and the Senate involved and say if you don’t comply with this statute, we’re going to cut your budget.”