In the Oval Office yesterday, President Trump told reporters he is hesitant to cooperate with House probes because when Barack Obama was president, he, too, did not cooperate with Republican-led requests for documents:
Pres. Trump suggested today WH won't cooperate w Dems: "President Obama, from what they tell me, was under a similar kind of a thing, didn't give one letter. They didn't do anything. They didn't give one letter of the requests. Many requests were made. They didn't give a letter."
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) March 5, 2019
And CNN’s fact check says this isn’t true because Obama did eventually give Republicans documents and it doesn’t matter that compliance happened years later or after a court (emphasis ours):
Facts First: Though Trump is vague about what exactly he’s referring to, it’s untrue to say that the Obama administration refused to comply with congressional requests for information. There were a handful of occasions where the Obama administration initially rebuffed extensive congressional document requests, but ultimately complied, either voluntarily or under court order.
Cool. Cool. President Trump should partially comply as well. Under this timetable, House Dems should get the docs in 2021. But only after the House holds someone in contempt and a court orders the president to do so:
During the Fast and Furious botched weapons sting investigation, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee in 2012 recommended that then-Attorney General Eric Holder be cited for contempt of Congress for failing to turn over requested documents. They made the recommendation after Obama asserted executive privilege over some documents sought by the committee.
But two years later, under court order, the Obama Justice Department did turn over nearly 65,000 pages of Fast and Furious-related documents.
Trump can send more documents over in 2023 if he wants:
And in 2016, the Justice Department released additional documents pertaining to Fast and Furious, as ordered by a federal judge.
Or maybe Trump can just rebuff the request like Obama did on Benghazi?
In addition, Obama administration officials provided requested documents during congressional inquiries into the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. However, when the committee asked the President to answer questions about the attack in Libya, his administration rebuffed the request.
You see, Trump can just send over 432 pages and that will probably be good enough for Dems.
During Obama’s first term, his administration said it would not comply with requests to turn over internal White House communications related to the solar company Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government and then went bankrupt. A year later, the administration turned over 432 pages of email and other documents.
Sorry, Dems. GET USED TO THIS:
WH rejects Elijah Cummings’ request for information about specific details about the security clearance process and Kushner’s clearance – and Cummings says he will now decide next steps. Here’s the WH letter: https://t.co/B3ebF3CPSi
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 5, 2019