In my first post at Goodlatte Watch in December, I reported:
Sixteen Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have written to chairman Bob Goodlatte asking him to schedule hearings on the potential conflicts between Donald Trump’s business interests and his future position as president of the United States.
I can find no evidence that Goodlatte even bothered to reply to the letter, let alone schedule hearings.
Now The Washington Post reports:
In an escalation of Democratic efforts to highlight questions about President Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and alleged ties to Russia, a senior House Democrat is dusting off a little-used legislative tool to force a committee debate or floor vote on the issue.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) filed a “resolution of inquiry” Thursday, a relatively obscure parliamentary tactic used to force presidents and executive-branch agencies to share records with Congress. Under House practice, such a resolution must be debated and acted upon in committee or else it can be discharged to the House floor for consideration.
Nadler, the No. 2-ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said that his move came after Democrats sent two letters to Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and another letter to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) asking for investigations into Trump’s financial entanglements.
“All of this demands investigation, and of course they’ve refused,” Nadler said Thursday at the House Democrats’ annual policy retreat [in Baltimore]. “This resolution will force them to confront the issue.”
Under House rules, a resolution of inquiry is referred to a committee, which has 14 legislative days to debate and vote on whether how it should be reported to the floor. If the committee does not take action in that 14-day span, the measure can be called up on the House floor for a debate and vote.
A spokeswoman for Goodlatte declined to comment Thursday on whether he plans to take up Nadler’s resolution.
Of course she did.
Unfortunately for Goodlatte’s efforts to evade his responsibilities as head of the Judiciary Committee, things just got real.