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Maryland congressman wants Flint water documents from Michigan's governor

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder is expected to soon appear before a congressional committee investigating the Flint Water crisis. 

However, a top Democrat on the panel says he’s not getting the documents he needs from the governor’s office.

Congressman Elijah Cummings was in Flint today to get a first-hand look at the city’s drinking water crisis. He was part of a congressional delegation that met with local business owners and federal agency officials. 

Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  He says you need documents to know the right questions to ask.  And Cummings says the committee is not getting the documents it needs to question Snyder.

Cummings sent a letter to the committee chairman asking him to compel Snyder to turn over the documents. But the Maryland Democrat says the Republican committee chairman has suggested to him that Michigan’s governor may claim “executive privilege."

“I think it is sadly an effort to shield the governor,” says Cummings.

Cummings claims this same committee aggressively sought documents from Oregon's Democratic governor during a recent investigation. He calls it a "double standard."

Governor Snyder’s office points out it has released 24,000 pages of emails dating back to 2014, posting the documents online.

The governor’s spokesman takes issue with Cummings’ suggestion that Snyder may claim “executive privilege."

"Gov. Snyder has never said he would invoke executive privilege – and already has taken unprecedented steps to release information," a statement read. "It’s surprising that Rep. Cummings would state that."

Snyder told The Detroit News today his office will release emails his staff sent or received related to Flint’s water dating back to 2011.

Snyder and former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley are among the witnesses expected to appear before the committee.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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