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WIlbur Ross accused of misleading Congress

An admission by the Justice Department is renewing questions about whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Congress the truth about the controversial citizenship question on the 2020 census.

Posted: Oct 14, 2018 8:21 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2018 8:21 PM

The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee argued Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was part of a "secret campaign" to push for a citizenship question to be added to the 2020 Census.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who could be the next chairman of the committee if Democrats win the majority this fall, was responding to the Department of Justice acknowledging Thursday that the idea of the citizenship question came from Trump advisers, including former adviser Steve Bannon, rather than the Justice Department.

"The Department of Justice has a direct and clear conflict of interest," Cummings said in a statement. "Based on this new evidence, it is now clear that both the Justice Department and the White House were part of Secretary Ross' secret campaign to orchestrate the addition of a citizenship question to the census. But now the Justice Department is trying to block depositions for the very same Trump Administration officials who engaged in these actions — and then misled Congress. The Trump Administration should not be using the levers of justice to conceal its own wrongdoing."

The Justice Department revelations came after Ross testified before a House panel in March that it was the department that "initiated the request for inclusion of the citizenship question." And while responding to a question from Rep. Grace Meng, a New York Democrat, Ross said he was not aware of any discussions with White House advisers before he began looking into the idea.

"Has the President or anyone in the White House discussed with you or anyone on your team about adding this citizen question," Meng asked.

"I'm not aware of any such," Ross said.

The Justice Department revelations have prompted criticism that Ross may have misled or lied to Congress.

A Commerce Department spokesman said in an email Thursday that the new Justice Department release "supplements the record but does not change the Secretary's story, it only adds to it."

Meng has made clear on her social media that she feels like she was "lied to" during the hearing.

"Hate being lied to! Very displeased to learn that @SecretaryRoss lied to me on the origins of adding a citizenship question to the #2020Census at a hearing this spring. Not a tough question, but I guess when you're in company with Steven Bannon, you've got to cover it up?" Meng tweeted, quoting a tweet from Chris Lu, a former deputy secretary of labor under President Barack Obama.

House Speaker Paul Ryan's office referred questions to the Oversight committee. CNN has not received an immediate response from the office of South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the committee.

CNN also reached out to Rep. John Culberson, the vulnerable Texas Republican who chaired the hearing where Ross testified, but has not received a response.

At the heart of the issue is a lawsuit by a group of state attorneys general who are challenging the addition of the question to the 2020 census. An appellate court has ordered that Ross be deposed as part of the lawsuit, but the DOJ is fighting that order and has taken the question to the Supreme Court.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 153270

Reported Deaths: 3807
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
Madison4964107
Forrest388286
Jones367788
Lauderdale3575147
Lafayette334952
Washington3241108
Lamar296650
Oktibbeha251362
Lowndes243864
Bolivar242984
Panola229653
Neshoba2241118
Marshall221250
Leflore207791
Monroe203978
Pontotoc202929
Lincoln194865
Sunflower192555
Warren178757
Tate177051
Union171026
Copiah167040
Pike164758
Yazoo158840
Scott157930
Itawamba156135
Alcorn154828
Pearl River154168
Coahoma151943
Simpson151953
Prentiss149531
Adams144451
Grenada142845
Leake139444
Holmes132361
Tippah128030
Covington127939
George126425
Winston124526
Hancock123640
Wayne120623
Marion118646
Attala117534
Tishomingo110842
Chickasaw109032
Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
Yalobusha72328
Perry68126
Tunica62319
Greene61222
Claiborne58916
Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
Calhoun6430121
Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
Limestone433345
St. Clair432555
Lauderdale422354
Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
Fayette92516
Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
Conecuh68814
Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
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