Trump used House staffers to write ‘Muslim ban’ behind their bosses’ backs!
The big story here is that Trump is an autocrat and has such contempt for Congress, including leading legislators from his own party, that he uses their employees to do his dirty work.
Senior staffers on the House Judiciary Committee helped Donald Trump’s top aides draft the executive order curbing immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, but the Republican committee chairman and party leadership were not informed, according to multiple sources involved in the process.
The news of their involvement helps unlock the mystery of whether the White House consulted Capitol Hill about the executive order, one of many questions raised in the days after it was unveiled on Friday. It confirms that the small group of staffers were among the only people on Capitol Hill who knew of the looming controversial policy.
Kathryn Rexrode, the House Judiciary Committee’s communications director, declined to comment about the aides’ work. A Judiciary Committee aide said Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) was not “consulted by the administration on the executive order.”
“Like other congressional committees, some staff of the House Judiciary Committee were permitted to offer their policy expertise to the Trump transition team about immigration law,” a House Judiciary Committee aide said in a statement. “However, the Trump Administration is responsible for the final policy decisions contained in the executive order and its subsequent roll-out and implementation.”
The work of the committee aides began during the transition period after the election and before Donald Trump was sworn in. The staffers signed nondisclosure agreements, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Trump’s transition operation forced its staff to sign these agreements, but it would be unusual to extend that requirement to congressional employees. Rexrode declined to comment on the nondisclosure pacts.
It’s extremely rare for administration officials to circumvent Republican leadership and work directly with congressional committee aides. But the House Judiciary Committee has some of the most experienced staffers when it comes to immigration policy.
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