If Democrats take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland will likely become Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.
An agenda is taking shape in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) that would paralyze the Trump administration if Democrats were in charge. Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the OGR and would become chairman if Democrats were in the majority.
So long as Republicans are in charge, Cummings and his fellow committee Democrats can’t do anything, since the Republican chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has ignored all of their requests. So far, Gowdy and the committee’s Republicans have blocked 52 attempts by Democrats to force votes on subpoena motions.
Former Chairman Darrell Issa of California issued more than 100 subpoenas to the Obama administration. To date, Gowdy has issued zero subpoenas to the Trump administration.
- Clearly the OGR Republicans have refused to hold the Trump administration accountable or to the same standard of oversight they had during the Obama presidency.
- Clearly the OGR Republicans have abdicated their oversight responsibilities of perhaps the most corrupt administration in history.
But if Democrats are in charge starting in January of next year, and Cummings becomes OGR committee chairman, all of that will change. Cummings recently has given several hints about what he wants to do in the OGR committee:
- Last week Cummings requested documents to investigate how and why President Donald Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.
- Last week Cummings also wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to express his displeasure and concerns about Trump’s appointment of Brian Hook to the State Department’s Iran Action Group due to Hook’s history of hostile relationship with employees in the State Department.
- On Wednesday, Cummings wrote to current oversight committee Gowdy asking him to “convene a hearing with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes and implicated President Trump in directing these crimes.”
Gowdy will, of course, ignore Cummings’ letters and requests as he has always done before.
Unlike all other congressional committees, the purpose of OGR is to serve as the watchdog of the federal government. It doesn’t have legislative authority, but has great investigative authority. One can only imagine the number of subpoenas and investigations that might be issued and carried on by Cummings and his fellow Democrats if they are put back in charge.
The prospect of Donald Trump and his corrupt kleptocracy being held accountable to Elijah Cummings is a dream for Democrats, and a nightmare for Donald Trump. It is one more reason that we have to make sure that the Blue Wave happens in November so Democrats can get in power and save the country from a president whose dream is to become a dictator.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.