Rep. Gowdy: Hold Sebelius in Contempt if She Won't Release Documents

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 08:47 PM

By Greg Richter

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should be held in contempt of Congress if she continues her refusal to release documents related to the security of the HealthCare.gov website, says House Oversight Committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

In a Thursday appearance on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,"Gowdy said HHS is "periliously close" to criminal obstruction after telling contractors not to release documents to the committee.

Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has requested copies of the documents, but the Obama administration is worried he intends to put them in the public domain.

"Congress is not a third party," Gowdy told Van Susteren.

"You can't tell a third party who's been subpoenaed by a co-equal branch of government not to comply with that subpoena," Gowdy said. "And if there is evidence that Secretary Sebelius is instructing people not to cooperate with a committee of jurisdiction in Congress, then she's going to be in even more trouble than she's currently in, and that's a lot."

Gowdy said the committee may have to issue a subpoena forcing Sebelius to bring the documents in person. If she refuses, he said, she could be found in civil or criminal contempt.

Attorney General Eric Holder won't prosecute, he said, "but that does not mean Congress cannot."

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