Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee made the following statement regarding a letter from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa to Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez. The letter cites Perez's non-compliance with a subpoena issued by the Oversight Committee on April 10, 2013, as well as Perez's apparent violation of the Federal Records Act. Perez has identified approximately 1,200 personal emails that are responsive to the subpoena, yet he still refuses to turn them over to Congress.
Grassley, in coordination with Issa and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, released a joint staff report about how Perez orchestrated a controversial quid pro quo with the city of St. Paul, Minn. that prevented the Justice Department from recovering hundreds of millions of dollars back to the taxpayers, and left a whistleblower out in the cold.
"I'm disappointed Mr. Perez has chosen not to comply with a congressional subpoena and turn over the approximate 1,200 personal emails he has identified that relate to his official duties. Such extensive use of his personal email to conduct official business is an extremely troubling development.
"Mr. Perez and the Department have resisted our oversight efforts at every turn, and this is just the latest example. Mr. Perez testified that he did not recall using his personal email to conduct Department business related to the Quid Pro Quo. But when we later made him aware of at least one email from his Verizon account, he belatedly turned over only a single additional email, rather than -- as we asked -- all of the emails from his personal account that relate to his official duties. Consequently, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was forced to issue a subpoena to Mr. Perez.
"Mr. Perez has identified approximately 1,200 personal emails that are responsive to the request, some of which reportedly disclosed non-public information about publicly traded companies. Yet, he still refuses to turn them over to Congress, despite his legal obligation to do so under the subpoena. These documents are in Mr. Perez's custody and control, not the Department's. It is his obligation to comply, not the Department's.
"Today the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee in the Senate is beginning consideration of his nomination. For the Senate to ably consider his nomination, Mr. Perez needs to provide these documents to Congress."