Elijah Cummings will lead the House Oversight Committee in the new Congress — and he already has 51 questions on his list that Trump will have to answer.
As Trump heads off to a 16-day Christmas vacation at his Mar-a-Lago resort, the incoming Democratic chairman fired a warning shot about the long list of investigations likely to greet him in the new year.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) will be the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which under Republican leadership has refused to fulfill its constitutional duty of keeping a check on the White House.
Cummings sent 51 letters to the Trump administration and other entities requesting "full compliance" with pre-existing requests for information on a whole host of issues. The letters contain requests for information from Republicans which the White House has ignored.
"These are documents that even the Republicans on the Oversight Committee—at least at some point in time—believed we needed to conduct effective oversight, but when the Trump Administration refused to comply fully, the Republicans would not issue a single subpoena," Cummings said in a statement.
"As Democrats prepare to take the reins in Congress, we are insisting—as a basic first step—that the Trump Administration and others comply with these Republican requests."
Trump has refused to come clean, even to members of his own party, on a large number of serious topics.
Cummings is requesting information on the Trump administration's botched response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly the use of a contractor who was supposed to provide 30 million meals to Americans but only delivered 50,000. Cummings also wants to know about email exchanges within the Department of Defense about "mass graves" relating to hurricanes.
The White House was not compliant with requests for information on Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's use of private email accounts in their capacity as members of the administration. Cummings is demanding the public be given access to the relevant details and the possible violations of federal law.
Democrats want to know more details about how and why the Trump administration decided to rip immigrant families apart and jail young children in detention facilities.
Details on payments from foreign governments to the Trump Organization, which would personally benefit Trump and may even violate the Constitution, are also being requested in the inquiry.
Trump's decision to grant security clearance to insiders who could not otherwise pass the existing process, like his son-in-law Jared Kushner, is another concern.
Trump's cabinet secretaries are being asked to provide the details of the luxury travel accommodations they took at taxpayer expense.
Cummings wants to know more about how former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt misused his office for personal gain.
Democrats have made it clear that unlike Republicans, they will not give Trump a pass on corruption or evasiveness.
Trump is now on notice that once Democrats retake control of the House, the government will be doing its job again — and keeping a close eye on him.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.