House GOP wants answers from Homeland Secretary Mayorkas on alleged obstruction of oversight probes

Customs and Border Patrol employees reportedly given memo with incorrect legal advice, encouraging them not cooperate in watchdog probes

Updated: August 2, 2022 - 2:08pm

Eighteen House Republicans want Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to answer questions about his agency allegedly obstructing oversight efforts including those related to Customs and Border Patrol.

The agency is reportedly telling employees, including those with the border patrol, to avoid turning over information to the agency's Office of the Inspector General.

Before an OIG meeting last month, CBP employees were reportedly given a memo with incorrect legal advice, encouraging them to not cooperate with the federal watchdog, the GOP lawmakers says in a letter this week to Mayorkas.

"The OIG is currently auditing and investigating the effects of the Biden Administration’s border policies – policies that have created a dangerous, chaotic and inhumane border," they wrote. "We are concerned DHS’s efforts to obstruct OIG oversight is targeted to CBP program areas."

Among those who signed the letter are Reps. James Comer, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee; Jody Hice, the top Republican of the chamber's  Government Operations Subcommittee; and Glenn Grothmam, House's National Security Subcommittee's top Republican.

"CBP employees, including U.S. Border Patrol agents, are on the frontlines of the border crisis," the letter also states. "Therefore, DHS OIG must have access to these employees and CBP systems so it can accurately assess the Biden Administration’s decisions and execution of the law regarding our southern border."

The lawmakers want Mayorkas to provide all documents and communications about DHS employees' interactions with or about the inspector general.

"Rather than committing time and resources to deny information to the OIG, DHS should be dedicating resources to protecting the southern border," they also said. 

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