Cummings accuses Education Dept of blocking probe into attempted removal of internal watchdog

Cummings accuses Education Dept of blocking probe into attempted removal of internal watchdog
© Greg Nash

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsOvernight Health Care: Planned Parenthood to leave federal family planning program absent court action | Democrats demand Trump withdraw rule on transgender health | Cummings, Sanders investigate three drug companies for 'obstructing' probe Democratic Women's Caucus calls for investigation into Epstein plea deal Cummings, Sanders investigate three drug companies for 'obstructing' congressional probe MORE (D-Md.) has reportedly accused the Department of Education of blocking an investigation from his committee into the attempted removal of the agency's acting independent watchdog.

Cummings reportedly said that department officials did not turn over documents requested by his committee regarding the Trump administration’s attempt earlier this year to replace its acting inspector general (IG), according to Politico.

ADVERTISEMENT

Politico noted that the refusal to hand over documents comes after acting IG Sandra Bruce began investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosCriminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid Buttigieg to Detroit audience: Don't judge Indiana by Pence and we won't judge Michigan by DeVos For-profit colleges — but not their student 'customers' — have a friend in Betsy DeVos MORE’s decision to reinstate the federal status of an accreditor of for-profit colleges.

Cummings said his committee has only received seven pages of documents in response to his request, most of them “heavily redacted.”

He added in a four-page letter, written along with committee member Rep. Mark DeSaulnierMark James DeSaulnierHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Cummings accuses Education Dept of blocking probe into attempted removal of internal watchdog Overnight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' MORE (D-Calif.), that the Education Department is “obstructing our investigation and appears to be part of an unprecedented cover-up by the Trump administration across multiple Executive Branch agencies and departments.”

Cummings’s letter gave the department until June 10 to comply with his requests for documents.

Politico reported that Cummings’s investigation began in January after President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren unveils Native American policy plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police Don't let other countries unfairly tax America's most innovative companies MORE chose Phil Rosenfelt, the Education Department’s deputy general counsel, to replace Bruce. The appointment was later rescinded following blowback from Democrats who said the selection was an attempt to interfere with the inspector general’s work.

The Hill has reached out to the Education Department for comment.