The fight between the White House and the House Oversight Committee has intensified as Chairman of the Committee, Darrell Issa, issued a subpoena for documents this past Friday.
Issa is investigating the creation of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, headed by David Simas, as well as trips that President Barack Obama took during 2014.
Using executive privilege as his reason, Simas has already refused to testify in front of the oversight committee.
In a letter to the White House, Issa stated, “The White House has not produced any additional documents, nor has the White House stated if or when the Committee will hear from Mr. Simas. In short, the accommodations process, which the White House itself characterized as constructive, has netted the Committee absolutely nothing.”
A spokesperson for the White House said that documents will be presented to the committee before the week is out.
“We’ve been extremely forthcoming in response to the committee’s requests on the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, including briefing the chairman’s office, providing responsive documents and providing additional information in letters to the committee,” claimed the spokesperson.
The Oversight Committee is investigating whether Obama violated any portion of the Hatch Act. This is a law passed in 1939, and then strengthened a year later, forbidding some officials in the executive branch of government from participating in political activities. Issa, a Republican from California, wants Obama to hand over documents having to do with his trip to Minnesota this past June and a trip to Colorado in July. Both of these visits were paid for as official presidential trips despite the fact that Obama participated in political fundraisers for Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and other Democrats.