WASHINGTON—Today, Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; and Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanded State Department documents related to reports that the Trump administration is vetting senior American employees at the State Department and international organizations to determine if they are sufficiently loyal to President Donald Trump.
On June 13, Foreign Policy reported that Mari Stull, a Senior Adviser to the Bureau of International Organizational Affairs, had been quietly vetting career diplomats and American employees of international institutions to determine whether they are loyal to President Donald Trump and his political agenda. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Ranking Members demanded that the Department provide documents related to Stull’s efforts to categorize, research, and vet employees by their perceived political views.
The Ranking Members wrote: “These allegations track closely with the many reports our Committees have received over the past 18 months alleging political attacks on State Department career employees. We had hoped with your personal assurances, including during your testimony before the Foreign Affairs Committee on May 23, 2018, that these attacks on career employees would come to an end… Yet, despite these assurances, it appears the Trump Administration continues to deploy ideological loyalty tests on State Department employees.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.
On March 15, Reps. Engel and Cummings released documents obtained by whistleblowers that showed senior Trump administration officials discussing the need to “clean house” at the Department, with political appointees targeting career civil servant employees they believed did not adequately support President Trump’s agenda. The State Department failed to reply to that letter and its requests for documents by a March 29 deadline.
On May 23, 2018, in his testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary Pompeo assured Ranking Member Engel that these ideological attacks on career employees would come to an end, and that a timeline for the production of Department documents on this issue would be provided to the Foreign Affairs Committee by the end of that week. Despite this stated commitment, Secretary Pompeo has not provided any of the requested documents or a timeline for their production. On June 4, Ranking Member Engel called on Secretary Pompeo to honor this commitment to produce these materials.
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