House chairwoman knocks DeVos for campaigning for Trump instead of testifying, threatens subpoena

Feb 3, 2020
In The News

House Oversight Committee and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) warned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Monday that the panel may subpoena her to testify after she attended campaign events on behalf of President Trump rather than testifying before the committee.

The committee initially sent DeVos a letter in December inviting her to testify on education issues such as student loan oversight, campus sexual assault policy and consumer protections for students at for-profit colleges.

In response, Maloney wrote, DeVos’s office “stonewalled and delayed” the requests and would not provide alternate dates for the secretary to appear.

“Unfortunately, it now appears that rather than agreeing to testify before Congress—which is your obligation as a public servant of the American taxpayers—you made plans to appear at multiple political events for President Trump’s re-election campaign,” the chairwoman wrote. “Instead of testifying before Congress, you are now apparently going to Iowa to campaign on behalf of President Trump today and then to Pennsylvania for another campaign event for him on Wednesday."

Maloney wrote that while DeVos is not barred from campaigning for the president, “you may not do so when it interferes with your official duties, including your duty to testify before Congress. If you will not agree to testify voluntarily, the Committee will have no choice but to consider issuing a subpoena to compel your appearance.”

The letter sets a revised hearing date of March 3, 2020 and gives DeVos until Friday to send the committee word whether she intends to appear voluntarily.

The Hill has reached out to the Department of Education for comment.