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Letter From Rep. Waxman to NASA Administrator Griffin Regarding Political Briefings By White House Officials

Status Report From: U.S. House of Representatives
Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Honorable Michael D. Griffin
Administrator
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
300 E St., SW
Washington, DC 20546

Dear Administrator Griffin:

I am writing to request information about political briefings given by White House officials to federal agency officials.

On March 28, 2007, the Committee held a hearing during which Lurita Doan, the head of the General Services Administration, testified that White House officials in the Office of Political Affairs conducted a political briefing at GSA headquarters on January 26, 2007. The briefing slides, which the Committee reviewed, identified the Republican Parfy's top electoral targets in the 2008 elections. After the presentation, Lurita Doan asked her staff to discuss how GSA resources could be used to help "our candidates" in the next election.

An article in today's Washington Post reports that White House officials now confirm that, in the past year alone, at least 20 similar briefings were given to officials of at least 15 federal agencies, including the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Commerce Department, among others.1

To assist with the Committee's continuing investigation of this issue, I request that you provide information about any briefing mentioning elections or candidates provided to agency employees by officials in the White House between January 20, 2001, and April 26, 2007. Please provide the dates, times, attendees, and locations of these briefings, as well as any communications and documents relating to the briefings. Please provide these materials to the Committee by May 18, 2007.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee in the House of Representatives and has broad oversight jurisdiction as set forth in House Rule X. An attachment to this letter provides additional information about how to respond to the Committee's request. I would appreciate your cooperation with this request.

I would appreciate your cooperation with this request. If your staff has any questions about this request, they should contact Anna Laitin or David Rapallo with the Committee staff at (202) 225-5420.

1Political Briefings at Agencies Disclosed, Washington Post (Apr. 26, 2007).

Sincerely,

(signed)

Henry A. Waxman
Chairman

Enclosure

cc: Tom Davis
Ranking Minority Member

// end //

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