Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nadler Calls out Republicans for Trying to Bury Debate on Resolution of Inquiry

They Must Not Shield Trump from Investigation into Russian Ties and Business Conflicts of Interest

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler, (NY-10) released the following statement regarding the House Judiciary Committee's scheduling of consideration of H. Res. 111, a Resolution of Inquiry:

"This morning, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee officially gave notice of consideration of H. Res. 111, my Resolution of Inquiry requesting information from the Department of Justice on President Trump's business conflicts and Russia ties, for thisTuesday, February 28.  We can draw a number of conclusions from this announcement—and none of them speak to the courage of the Majority.

“First, House Republicans chose to consider this resolution in committee—as opposed to allowing debate on the House floor—because they would prefer that only a few of their safest members be forced to take a vote on this matter.  The Majority must decide between conducting basic oversight of President Trump, on the one hand, or being complicit in potential misdeeds by Trump and his associates, on the other.  Given their refusal to hold the President accountable so far, they are clearly trying to contain the damage.

“Second, committee leadership has scheduled the markup for Tuesday in an obvious attempt to bury our debate in the heavy media coverage of President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.  I don’t think the effort will succeed.  Across the political spectrum, in poll after poll and at town hall meetings across the country, the American public demands that we investigate critical questions related to the conduct of our elections and the conflicts of interest of our elected officials.

“Third, Chairman Goodlatte also gave notice of an amendment in the nature of a substitute to my resolution, with wording virtually identical to H. Res. 111.  That amendment only exists as a threat to cut off debate on the underlying resolution.  I urge the Chairman not to break from the longstanding practice of the House Judiciary Committee, and to allow a full debate on the resolution of inquiry.  If Republicans choose to block the measure, so be it.  At least we will know where they stand.

“I believe that the public sees this ‘tactical scheduling’ as an act of cowardice.  I predict that any attempt to curtail debate or limit media coverage of our markup will only backfire.  As they say, the eyes of the nation will surely be upon them.

“Given last night's revelations about White House communications with the FBI regarding Trump campaign contacts with Russian intelligence operatives, there can be no adequate reason why the Republicans on the committee should not support this simple request for information.  Members of Congress have an obligation to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch.  I remain hopeful that at least some of my Republican colleagues will carefully consider our oath of office, and choose to support this resolution on Tuesday.  If they do not, we are left to conclude that they are willing to go to any length to shield Americans from getting to the truth."

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