Politics

House Democrats Investigating Stephen Miller Over DHS Firings

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

Three House Democratic chairmen are investigating the White House’s staff shakeup of the Department of Homeland Security, and they are demanding to know Stephen Miller’s possible involvement.

“We are investigating President Trump’s recent unprecedented actions to remove much of the senior leadership of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” began a joint letter from Oversight and Reform Committee chairman Elijah Cummings, Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler and Homeland Security Committee chairman Bennie Thompson.

The three Democrats want all correspondence relating to the departure of several top individuals in DHS, and have given the White House a deadline of May 9 to produce the documents.

“We are deeply concerned that the firing and forced resignation of these officials puts the security of the American people at risk,” the letter continued. “We are also concerned that the president may have removed DHS officials because they refused his demands to violate federal immigration law and judicial orders.”

Their demands come after immigration higher-ups were let go from the Trump administration, including former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, former acting administrator of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Ronald Vitiello and others. In the letter, the Democrats suggested they have been let go because they wouldn’t adhere to Trump’s demands, and that Miller might have been behind the firings.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Cummings waves his gavel during Michael Cohen hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee Elijah Cummings (D-MD) waves his gavel as Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Earlier in April, Cummings requested Miller to testify in his committee about the administration’s immigration agenda, but the White House slapped down the request. Presidents from both parties, the administration argued, have historically cited constitutional separation of powers when declining to allow their staffers testify before Congress. (RELATED: Here’s How Jared Kushner Wants To Reform The US Immigration System)

Democrats have become increasingly critical of Trump’s immigration agenda as he aims to go in a “tougher direction” with enforcement measures. While Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has taken the reins on a comprehensive reform package, Miller is viewed as wielding the most influence with Trump when it comes to immigration policy.

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