Trump demands 'transparency' from Democrats as he continues to hide evidence

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Trump has repeatedly stonewalled investigators and congressional committees in the past.

Donald Trump complained on Tuesday that congressional Democrats were not being transparent enough in their impeachment inquiry.

Trump, whose administration has been repeatedly referred to as one of the least transparent in history and who has personally stonewalled dozens of efforts to obtain information about him, claimed specifically that House Democrats were "allowing no transparency at the Witch Hunt hearings."

The remarks were a reference to several closed-door hearings being held by some House committees β€” with members of both parties present β€” to assess whether Trump had engaged in impeachable activity when he pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden.

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"If Republicans ever did this they would be excoriated by the Fake News," Trump tweeted. "Let the facts come out from the charade of people, most of whom I do not know, they are interviewing for 9 hours each, not selective leaks."

 

Trump's complaints stand in stark contrast to his own behavior.

Trump famously broke previous promises to release his tax returns, becoming the only president of the modern era not to do so. He claimed this was because he was under "routine audit," but also declined to provide any evidence of that audit.

Trump has also declined to release his medical records, instead dictating a letter from his doctor that praised his "astonishingly excellent" health.

During special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Trump repeatedly refused to provide testimony under oath, instead opting to send only partial written answers to Mueller's team. The special counsel, in his 400-plus page final report, released this past spring, called Trump's answers "inadequate."

The Trump administration also stopped providing daily press briefings seven months ago. And in 2017, officials reportedly ordered agencies to simply ignore oversight requests from members of the then-Democratic minority in Congress.

Since the Democrats regained the majority in the House in January, little has changed. The administration has routinely stonewalled, refused to comply with subpoenas, and refused to send officials to testify before committees doing oversight.

In recent days, the Trump administration has made it clear that it will not provide any materials to committees leading the impeachment inquiry, suggesting that it can simply ignore subpoenas because it "cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances."

Though Trump has previously proclaimed to be the "most transparent president" in history, experts say the opposite is true.

β€œIt is for sure the least transparent administration in modern history,” Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, told Politico in May.

At the time, the publication noted that in the first year of Trump's administration, "the federal government denied or censored more public information requests than at any time in the last decade."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.