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

After relinquishing the House Oversight Committee gavel this month, Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records 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. 


“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 GowdyThe Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election Sunday shows preview: Election integrity dominates as Nov. 3 nears 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.