In a letter to the Democratic Women’s Working Group on Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) indicated the Justice Department, not his committee, should investigate sexual harassment allegations made against President Donald Trump.
Before explaining that the allegations deserved law enforcement’s attention, Gowdy told the working group he sent their request — to investigate allegations against Trump — to the Justice Department.
“This Committee, nor any other Committee of Congress, does not, and cannot, prosecute crimes,” Gowdy said in the letter obtained by Politico.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a ranking member on the oversight committee, disputed Gowdy’s claim.
“Congress is in the midst of a critical and long-overdue examination of allegations against its own Members — both before and after they were elected to Congress,” he said.
“The Oversight Committee is charged with examining similar allegations against Executive Branch employees and the President.”
Their comments came amid a renewed public focus on the many allegations against Trump. On Monday, several Trump accusers appeared on television and called on Congress to further investigate the allegations.
More than 50 congresswomen issued a letter on Tuesday, adding their voices to that call.
“We cannot ignore the multitude of women who have come forward with accusations against Mr. Trump. With that said, the president should be allowed to present evidence in his own defense,” the letterread.