Speed Reads

'It floods the swamp'

A Republican senator wrote Trump a brutal 6-page letter to inform him the new policy on oversight requests is 'nonsense'

A lengthy and critical letter landed on President Trump's desk this week from one of his fellow Republicans, Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa). Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to let Trump know he's livid about the Office of Legal Counsel's "nonsense" new policy that directs federal agencies to only address oversight requests from congressional chairmen — not from rank-and-file members or even ranking minority members. Because only Republicans are committee chairs right now, that essentially translates to an order "to ignore oversight requests from Democrats," the Washington Examiner wrote.

"Shutting down oversight requests doesn't drain the swamp, Mr. President. It floods the swamp," Grassley wrote, explaining that his experience has proven that "a partisan response to oversight only discourages bipartisanship, decreases transparency, and diminishes the crucial role of the American people's elected representatives." Grassley also noted that "even in a highly charged political environment," most requests are not "partisan" but rather are requests for information that will help members "legislate and fix real problems for the American people."

Moreover, Grassley argues, it's unclear if the policy issued last month by the OLC is even constitutional. He noted that every member of Congress is a "constitutional officer," and thus "all members need accurate information from the Executive Branch in order to carry out their constitutional function." "Unless Congress explicitly tells the Executive Branch to withhold information based on committee membership or leadership position, there is no legal or constitutional basis for the Executive Branch to do so," Grassley wrote.

Read the entirety of Grassley's damning letter here.