Opinion | Oversight, Not Overreach
Democrats face the same temptations to overreach, though many of the new committee heads say they learned from the excesses of their Republican predecessors. Thus the decision to hold hearings on presidential tax returns before anyone starts firing off subpoenas to the White House.
Still, it makes sense for Mr. Trump to be antsy about the strange, new experience of being held accountable. At least he can take comfort in not having to go through it alone. Just at the cabinet level, Democrats are also looking at:
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is scheduled next month to testify about whether he lied to Congress regarding his role in adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, whose personal financial dealings are being scrutinized, as is his department’s decision to ease sanctions on companies tied to the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who grudgingly trudged up to Capitol Hill on Friday to discuss the peculiar circumstances of how he came to be in charge of the Justice Department — and, specifically, of the Russia probe, which he has openly criticized.
The recently departed interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, who remains under investigation by Congress, his former department’s inspector general, and the Department of Justice, for a range of possible stumbles, including misusing government resources, making policy decisions based on political considerations, and lying to federal investigators.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whom multiple committees are eager to grill about her deregulation of for-profit colleges, rewrite of campus sexual-assault policies and handling of the student-debt crisis.
The former Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, whose cavalcade of grifts continues to intrigue both Congress and the agency’s inspector general.
So while the next couple of years may indeed prove vexing for the president, he should focus on the big picture. Oversight is not the same as harassment. And, so long as Mr. Trump has nothing to hide, the public will feel much more confident in his leadership once some of the more disturbing questions have been answered.
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