Democrats worry Trump administration is burying documents showing COVID failures, internal corruption: report

According to a report at the Daily Beast, Democratic lawmakers are growing increasingly suspicious that the administration of Donald Trump is delaying turning over transition information to staffers working for President-elect Joe Biden not so much out of fury that Trump lost but because they may be trying to bury information that could lead to investigations into the previous administration's failures.

Even more concerning is the belief that valuable evidence of failures to contain the spread of COVID-19 -- that could be used to avoid repeating mistakes -- is also being destroyed in an attempt to sabotage the new Biden administration.

As the Beast's Sam Brodey wrote, "Democratic lawmakers are concerned that the transition of power itself might make that task even more of a maddening ordeal than it’s been the last two years—because they’re worried the Trump administration will shred the receipts on the way out," before adding, "In a rare move this week, all of the House’s committee chairs signed a letter to the White House, reminding officials, 'you are obligated to ensure that any information previously requested by Congress… is saved and appropriately archived in a manner that is easily retrievable.'"

According to Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL), concerns about what the Trump administration might be doing arose out of late-night talks about "what are those things that could go wrong" as Trump reluctantly turns over power.

“We as Americans have all been anxious about what someone with the narcissistic tendencies of Donald Trump would do during a transition, and to what degree that would put our democracy at risk,” Casten explained, adding that they hoped their letter would encourage staffers to hang onto to important documents if instructed to get rid of them.

"If Trump administration documents are retained and accessible, they could form the basis of something that’s eluded Democrats for the last two years: investigations that actually reveal significant new information, on topics ranging from the COVID-19 response to the administration’s immigration policy to its use of public resources," Brodey wrote. "Lawmakers must grapple with a bizarre transition in which the sitting president who’s defied them for years is, in one last middle finger, refusing to acknowledge his defeat. That refusal has extended to the machinery of the federal government, with the usually obscure General Services Administration dragging its feet on acknowledging Biden as the winner of the election."

While some Democrats don't want to go full force after Trump with investigations that might overshadow what President Biden wants to do, there is great interest in digging into the COVID-19 debacle that has led to over 240,000 deaths and is now resurgent.

"Most members agree, for example, that they’d have a broad mandate to probe the Trump administration’s botched coronavirus response, to the extent those records are retained for the Biden administration to divulge. Casten, for his part, said that he’s written to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for months, requesting information on how they’ve been prioritizing the flow of crucial items to COVID hotspots," the report states with Casten adding, "I’ve been asking for that information since April not because I’m trying to get into a fight with the president, but because I don’t want people to die… it’s not so we could pursue some criminal accountability, we’re trying to do our jobs as members of the U.S. government.”

You can read more here.