Government watchdog says White House is blocking its investigations

House Democrats said in a letter on Thursday that the White House is ignoring requests for information from the government's top watchdog and are asking for a hearing on the matter.

"We are writing to request that you hold an immediate hearing on the dramatic decision by the White House to obstruct investigations by our independent investigators at the Government Accountability Office. We ask that the Committee obtain testimony from the White House Counsel and General Counsel of GAO," Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview Gowdy calls congressional hearings like Cohen's 'utterly useless' The family secret Bruce Ohr told Rod Rosenstein about Russia case MORE (R-S.C.), referring to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). 

The letter was led by the committee's ranking member, Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsRaskin embraces role as constitutional scholar Barr faces political storm over Mueller report House committee chairs call for Mueller report to be released by April 2 MORE (D-Md.). 

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The lawmakers went on to cite a separate letter from GAO General Counsel Thomas Armstrong to White House counsel Don McGahan. 

"I understand that attorneys from your office and the National Security Council (NSC) will not respond to the inquiries or otherwise engage with GAO staff during the course of our reviews," Armstrong wrote. "This approach represents a clear departure from past practice." 

Armstrong said the GAO had asked for meetings over the past year on a variety of different topics, including the NSC's role in "conflict prevention, mitigation, and stabilization efforts abroad" and the cost of presidential travel. 

He also said the GAO had contacted Vice President Pence's office but did not receive a response.  

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.