WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper criticizing the Secretary’s unwillingness to appear before the committee and failure to provide written answer to questions regarding the use of military forces in response to peaceful protesters in the District of Columbia, as previously requested by Chairman Smith.
“I write you today to express my profound frustration at your lack of response to my June 3, 2020 letter. It is unacceptable that, except for staff communication, you have not responded to our formal written request that you and Chairman Milley appear before the committee for a hearing on the Department’s roles and authorities in civilian law enforcement,” Chairman Smith wrote.  “We understand that the White House may be preventing you from testifying, obstructing Congress’ ability to conduct its constitutionally charge oversight responsibility.  Therefore, I ask that you coordinate with the committee to provide your and Chairman Milley’s availability no later than June 11, 2020 so that we can schedule a hearing. Without your cooperation, the committee will be forced to set a hearing date and time without your input.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.