Grassley, Hawley slam DHS for redactions of disinfo docs: 'The people’s business ought to be public'
Congress "a separate and co-equal branch of government," senators point out.
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Two Republican senators this week slammed the Department of Homeland Security for what they said were overzealous redaction decisions pursuant to an oversight request made by the senators themselves.
In their letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley criticized the department for its response to a request for documentation the two lodged in June of this year.
Of the two responses the senators received, they wrote, one "did not answer any of the ten questions" they originally posed, while the other consisted of "two documents already in the public domain" and "500 pages of material, approximately half of which are mostly or entirely redacted."
"We remind you that the oversight letters we send to the Executive Branch are signed in our capacity as sitting members of Congress, a separate and co-equal branch of government," the senators wrote.
Noting that DHS cited Freedom of Information Act disclosure privileges in making the redaction, Hawley and Grassley pointed out that FOIA provisions "do not apply to the oversight requests we submit in our capacity as constitutional officers and should not be applied to the materials that DHS produces in response to congressional requests."
"Simply put, Congress controls when to make documents within its possession public, not DHS, and the people’s business ought to be public," they argued.
The senators demanded that DHS provide "full and complete responses" to its earlier inquiries, as well as "a detailed description of DHS’s policy for responding to congressional oversight requests," by Dec. 29 of this year.