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September 18, 2020

Thompson and Rice Schedule Hearing on Trusted Traveler Program Investigation, Demand DHS’ Full Compliance on Outstanding Document Request

“DHS is severely limiting the Committee’s ability to carry out its Constitutional responsibility to oversee our nation’s homeland security and to ensure that DHS treats all U.S. citizens equitably”

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations Subcommittee, sent a letter to the Honorable Chad Wolf of the Department of Homeland Security demanding DHS’ and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) compliance with the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department’s decision to summarily single out and ban New York residents from Trusted Travelers programs (TTP), including Global Entry, and the inaccurate and misleading testimony senior DHS officials provided to the Committee on the matter.

Despite repeated requests, the Department has not transmitted all of the documents requested by the Committee to complete its investigation. These documents must be transmitted to the Committee by September 25th, or the Committee will use compulsory measures to obtain them.

Additionally, since the Department has not made four current Departmental officials available for transcribed interviews on this matter as requested, the Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations has scheduled a hearing on September 30th and has requested testimony from each of these individuals at the hearing.  The Committee has been able to complete a transcribed interview with Mr. John Wagner, the former Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Field Operations.

“It appears that testimony provided in hearings to this Committee by senior officials with the Department of Homeland Security was inaccurate and misleading,” wrote Chairs Thompson and Rice. “It also appears that numerous senior officials with the Department shared a profoundly and disturbingly deficient understanding of a program they were responsible for directing.  And now the Department is not fully cooperating with the Committee’s examination of the facts and circumstances surrounding both the inaccurate and misleading testimony as well as the many troubling consequences of the Department’s mismanagement of the Trusted Traveler programs.  This situation is intolerable.  The Committee will continue to take every available investigative step to try to uncover the truth regarding what Department officials knew and when about the TTP vetting processes they have inaccurately described.”

Link to letter (9/18) 

Link to hearing information (9/30)

Link to original request (7/25) 

Link to second request (8/17)

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Press Contact

(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978

(Rice) Stuart Malec at 202-225-5516