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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 CummingsHouse Democrats reintroduce bill to reduce lobbyist influence Trump voters and progressives have a lot in common — and Biden can unite them We must act on lowering cost of prescription drugs 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.

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Politico noted that the refusal to hand over documents comes after acting IG Sandra Bruce began investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosAzar in exit letter to Trump says Capitol riot could 'tarnish' legacy READ: Departure letter from HHS Secretary Azar to Trump ICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post 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 DeSaulnierPelosi wins Speakership for fourth time in dramatic vote Dozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House Rep. DeSaulnier leaves ICU after 3 weeks to continue treatment for pneumonia 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 TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT 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.