Former Congressman Tom Price was forced out as Secretary of Health and Human Services last September for spending thousands of taxpayers dollars on charter flights, and has repaid about $60,000 of that cost – but Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, who tagged along on ten flights with Price, has gotten a free ride.
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, wants to know why Conway has not been publicly chastised, repaid the cost of her travel, been fired or at least punished for doing the exact same thing that cost Price his job.
Cummings has written a letter to Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy demanding that he issue a subpoena to force Conway and the White House to respond to his multiple requests for information and action on Conway.
To date, Cummings writes, he has gotten the runaround from the White House or outright refusals to provide the documents and information needed to make the case that Conway should repay the government for her travel and possibly be fired.
“Under your chairmanship,” writes Cummings in his letter, “the Committee has launched three investigations of the White House—into private jets, private email, and security clearances—but the White House has completely stonewalled our requests for documents in all three.”
Cummings previously asked Gowdy to issue a subpoena, but the South Carolina Republican and Trump loyalist refused to do so, so now he was forced to ask again in even more forceful terms.
“If you do not issue a subpoena at this point,” writes Cummings, “it will be obvious to the White House and the American people who the committee has no intention of serving as a true check on the Executive Branch.”
Gowdy, a Tea Party Republican, was the legislator under the Obama administration who forcefully went after Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server and also led the multiple investigations into the 2011 embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Since Trump took over, however, Gowdy seems to have lost his interest in being the relentless prosecutor he once was in real life and has proven to be willing to go along with pretty much whatever Trump wants.
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) March 13, 2018
The good news is that Gowdy has announced he is retiring after this term to return to private law practice.
Cummings, meanwhile, has proven to be a dogged investigator who works to ferret out government waste and corruption at every level and would make an excellent committee chairman if the Democrats are able to regain control of the House in November.
Conway has gotten away with one misdeed after another. Only last week, she was let off the hook for violating the Hatch Act after she went on Fox News and made partisan remarks about an election in Alabama.
Once Trump’s campaign manager, the former publicist still appears on TV to tout White House policy, but her role has been reduced from the early days of the administration because she often comes off as a mindless shill instead of a thoughtful counselor.
Her loyalty to Trump, however, seems to continue to serve her well, as she has a job in an administration where there is a revolving door for even high-level staff.