Top aides to Donald Trump quietly worked with senior staffers on the House Judiciary Committee to draft the executive order curbing immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, but the Republican committee chairman and party leadership were not informed, according to multiple sources involved in the process.
The work of the aides began during the transition period after the election and before Trump was sworn in.
It’s not clear why the committee aides did not alert the committee chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), or Republican leaders about their work.
Kathryn Rexrode, the House Judiciary Committee’s communications director, declined comment about the aides’ work. A Judiciary Committee aide said Goodlatte was not “consulted by the administration on the executive order.”
Their work on the executive order meant the small group of staffers — conservative immigration hard-liners who, sources say, are close with attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) — were among the only people on Capitol Hill who knew of the looming controversial policy.
So staff members of the committee that Goodlatte chairs worked with Trump’s people on the notorious executive order without getting Goodlatte’s approval or even bothering to inform him?
Will Goodlatte be duly outraged by this insubordination? Will heads roll?
Surprise us for once, congressman.
Update: Apparently Goodlatte has no problem with what his committee staff did, or that they signed non-disclosure agreements barring them from discussing their activities with Goodlatte or Republican leadership.
Further update: Goodlatte has issued a statement saying he “proudly allowed” his committee staff to assist Trump. Still lots of questions about this.
A little more detail on this:
“It’s congressional staff working for the executive without telling the members of Congress they work for which is the big deal…How does Goodlatte trust these staffers again knowing they went behind his back?”
According to Politico, Goodlatte now says he knew his staff working was working on Immigration EO during the transition.
Thanks. I’ve added an update. He seems to be contradicting what his staffers told Politico.