Democrats on the House education committee on Thursday issued subpoenas for three career Education Department staff as part of the committee’s probe into whether Under Secretary Diane Auer Jones tried to help Dream Center Education Holdings retroactively get accreditation to continue to receive federal dollars.
In a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos accompanying the subpoenas, the committee’s chairman, Bobby Scott, wrote that the department has refused to turn over information.
“The department has regularly ignored the Committee’s emails and requests to negotiate,” wrote Scott, of Virginia. “The department has repeatedly agreed to prioritize certain requested documents only to later abandon those commitments and instead produce unrelated documents as part of ‘data dumps.’ When the Department ultimately complied with agreements for production, it provided almost entirely redacted document sets without indicating why essential content was withheld.”
A committee spokeswoman declined to identify the staff being subpoenaed.
However, the department has written the committee saying it could not release some of the documents for security reasons. Department spokeswoman Angela Morabito said committee staff have instead been invited to come look at the documents.
“Thousands of pages have been sitting at the department. Yet, instead of conducting business in a lawful, rational, and responsible way, the unhinged Democrats have resorted to badgering career civil servants to carry on what is nothing more than a witch hunt,” she said.