Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected a call from Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings Wednesday to testify regarding documents that the Department of Justice (DOJ) may have withheld from the House Oversight Committee.
The committee is currently in the midst of an investigation regarding the Fast and Furious scandal under former Attorney General Eric Holder. Representatives on the oversight committee had subpoenaed documents regarding the program from the DOJ, and received more than 7,600 pages of documents in return.
JUST IN: Attorney General #Sessions Declines to Testify Before Oversight Committee on Withholding Documents. https://t.co/0iVCFtEH23
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) June 7, 2017
President Donald Trump exercised executive privilege in withholding certain documents pertaining to open investigations regarding the Fast and Furious program. Cummings had requested Sessions’ appearance before the oversight committee to reveal the contents of these documents and justify their being withheld.
Not only did Sessions refuse to appear at today’s hearing, but he also specified that no other DOJ official would be sent in his place. The DOJ based the rejection on ongoing litigation brought by committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz. The statement specified that no DOJ official would testify before the committee while the department was involved in “settlement discussions” with its chairman.
“Under these circumstances, we are not in a position to provide additional information in response to your questions, nor to have a Department witness testify about them at a congressional hearing,” said the DOJ statement.
Rep. Cummings’ office did not respond to a request for comment.
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