House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, a Democratic Representative from Maryland sent a letter to White House attorney Pat Cipollone on Monday, alerting him that further action would be taken to obtain documents that the committee would like to review concerning President Donald Trump and his West Wing staff.
“I am writing to inform you that, due to your complete refusal to produce a single document in response to the Committee’s investigation of the use of personal email and messaging accounts by White House officials, the Committee is now expanding its request to seek copies of all communications sent or received in violation of federal law and the White House’s own records policy,” the letter reads.
“As I explained, the Presidential Records Act prohibits every White House employee from creating or sending a record ‘using a non-official electronic message account’ unless the employee copies his or her official email account or “forwards a complete copy” to his or her official email account ‘not later than 20 days’ after sending or receiving the original email,” Cummings went on.
Cummings previously requested all presidential records sent or received by non-career officials at the White House using non-official electronic messaging accounts in a prior quarry and now appears to be doubling down on his requirement of those documents.
“In my letter, I did not request copies of any specific emails or messages. Instead, based on assurances that the White House was conducting its own internal review of previous violations, I sought a response to seven inquiries preciously made by our former Republican chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, and Rep. Trey Gowdy…” Cummings went on.
The committee chairman than pointed out to the White House attorney that he considered answers to his request to be “deficient” and that the investigation is one he planned to continue.
“As a result, the Committee now will conduct its own review of the emails and other communications by White House officials that violated federal law. The purpose of this investigation is to determine why White House officials used non-official email accounts, texting services and encrypted applications for official business; why they failed to forward records sent or received on non-official accounts to their official accounts within 20 days as required by federal law; whether they were specific topics that White House officials sought to conceal; and whether legislative changes should be made to prevent similar violations in the future.”