The White House hasn’t found support for its effort to freeze out Democrats’ oversight requests among Republicans — who remember all too well the difficulties they faced as the minority party trying to pry information from the Obama administration.
Several prominent Republican leaders have lashed out in recent days after the Trump administration reportedly directed federal agencies to ignore requests for information from Democrats and offered withering criticism of a recent legal opinion from the Justice Department that appears to give the White House legal cover to do so.
Last week, Republican leaders recounted their difficulties as the minority party in Congress in getting the Obama Justice Department to divulge facts about Fast and Furious, the botched gun-walking operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who pressed for the congressional investigation into the operation, highlighted the delays he faced getting information about the case when he testified last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and advocated for legislative changes to ensure that members of the executive branch “cannot rely on phony privilege claims and delay tactics” to avoid responding to congressional inquiries.
“Sometimes you are in the majority and sometimes you are in the minority, and there is a process that has to be available,” Mr. Grassley said.
Reflecting on the struggles Mr. Grassley encountered at the time, Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, likened them to the problems Democrats are facing today.