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Politics

Maloney on Consequences and Challenges of Truncated Presidential Transition

December 11, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Below is Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, for the December 10 Subcommittee hearing to examine the ongoing presidential transition, its challenges, and lessons already learned that can improve future transitions.

Thank you, Chairman Connolly, for highlighting the many issues raised by an unstable transition.

An outgoing President should make every effort to assist and prepare the incoming administration to take office— for the good of the country and for our national security.

Instead of working to ensure the orderly transfer of power to the winner of the election, President Trump has been attacking the validity of the election and subverting the transition process.

These actions are not only reprehensible and shocking, they are dangerous.  But I’m sorry to say that I’m not surprised by them.  

Throughout his Administration, President Trump has chosen to put his personal interests before the needs of the country and has disregarded both congressional oversight and public scrutiny.

According to press reports, President Trump has routinely ignored federal records laws, regularly tearing up or shredding documents that are required to be preserved. The destruction was so bad that career records officers were reportedly forced to use scotch tape to put important documents back together.  

Given this track record, I’m deeply concerned that President Trump and his aides may attempt to conceal or destroy important White House materials during their last remaining days.

That is why I sent a letter to the White House last month demanding that the Administration comply with their responsibilities under the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act.

Eight other Committee chairs joined in that letter, and we demanded that the White House preserve all materials that are potentially responsive to the requests and subpoenas issued this Congress.

These records belong to the American people— they are important for our historical record. They will also be critical to our ability to fix the damage that was done during the Trump Administration.

I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses today on this and other issues that need to be addressed to ensure that the current transition goes as smoothly as possible from this point forward. We must also work to ensure that future transitions are more seamless than this one.

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