Chaffetz: Trump administration 'almost worse' than Obama's on transparency

After relinquishing the House Oversight Committee gavel this month, Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCurtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Chaffetz named Harvard Institute of Politics fellow Fox's Chaffetz: Rosenstein has 'absolutely zero credibility' on going after leakers MORE (R-Utah) said he thinks the Trump administration isn’t any better about government transparency than the Obama administration.

In an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group that aired over the weekend, Chaffetz said he’s been disappointed that federal agencies under Trump haven’t been more forthcoming with congressional oversight requests.

“The reality is, sadly, I don't see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration. I thought there would be this, these floodgates would open up with all the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon,” Chaffetz said. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“In many ways, it's almost worse because we're getting nothing, and that's terribly frustrating and, with all due respect, the attorney general has not changed at all. I find him to be worse than what I saw with [former Attorney General] Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. I just, that's my experience, and that's not what I expected,” he said.

Chaffetz is resigning from Congress at the end of this month.

He could have kept the Oversight gavel through 2020 under the House GOP’s rules limiting chairmen to three consecutive terms, but instead has chosen to return to the private sector.

Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyCongressional investigations — not just special counsels — strengthen our democracy These 5 House Republicans are ripping their Senate colleagues over healthcare House Intelligence Republican: Claims Gowdy acted as second lawyer for Kushner 'horses---t' MORE (R-S.C.) succeeded Chaffetz as House Oversight Committee chairman last week.

Chaffetz expressed frustration that the Trump administration hasn’t moved to get rid of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen after dozens of Republicans called for his firing.

Chaffetz and other GOP lawmakers have called for Koskinen’s removal because they say he wasn’t forthcoming with documents during investigations into the 2013 revelations that the IRS scrutinized conservative nonprofits’ applications for tax-exempt status. 

“We tried to issue subpoenas, we tried to hold people in contempt, and the Obama administration said no, and the Trump administration came in and did zero. Nothing. Nothing changed,” Chaffetz said.