The White House isn’t doing enough to prepare for the possibility that Democrats could retake congressional majorities — and Republicans are trying to warn them to take action.
Democratic majorities would have subpoena power to unearth documents and force administration officials to testify about myriad scandals currently simmering under Republican oversight — but President Donald Trump and his aides don’t appear to have a strategy in place to deal with that, reported McClatchy.
“From a communications perspective, the White House is completely unprepared for the onslaught it will face if the House flips,” said one former official in the Trump White House. “Democrats are lining up potential investigations by the dozens and the communications shop in the White House is a ghost town. Democrats will get free hit after free hit. There’s no rapid response operation — nothing.”
Democrats are licking their chops at a chance to investigate Trump campaign ties to Russia, the firing of former FBI director James Comey, the president’s tax returns and foreign investments, and the security clearances of Trump.
“The waste, fraud, and abuse is plain to see,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “The most important thing for the Oversight Committee to do is to use its authority to obtain documents and witnesses, and actually hold the Trump administration accountable to the American people.”
The White House refused to respond to questions about its preparations for a possible “blue wave,” but former advisers to Trump and previous administrations say Democratic midterm wins could essentially shut down his presidency.
“It’s the beginning of a nightmare,” said a former Trump adviser who remains close to the White House. “The harassment, the hearings, the requests.”
Every day brings a new crisis when an opposing party holds majority power in Congress, according to White House veterans — and the Trump team seems able to focus on only one thing at a time.
“I don’t think they have any sense of what they are in for,” said Jennifer Palmieri, who served in the Obama and Clinton White Houses. “They have had zero taste of what it’s like to live with a Congress that’s doing an adequate amount of oversight.”
“It’s a very tumultuous time in the White House,” she added. “People get really scared and can turn on each other.”