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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: 341862

Reported Deaths: 7533
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23783441
DeSoto23180283
Harrison20365329
Rankin15307290
Jackson15087251
Madison10917227
Lee10674179
Jones8969169
Forrest8621159
Lauderdale7839243
Lowndes7016151
Lamar696289
Lafayette6535124
Washington5589139
Pearl River5141152
Bolivar4949134
Oktibbeha491698
Panola4766112
Warren4709127
Marshall4691106
Pontotoc446273
Union432579
Monroe4322137
Neshoba4268181
Hancock423788
Lincoln4171116
Pike3650113
Leflore3619125
Tate352888
Alcorn349574
Sunflower347194
Adams340588
Scott340176
Yazoo338575
Copiah323468
Simpson322090
Itawamba314180
Coahoma313385
Tippah304768
Prentiss297863
Covington291883
Leake284675
Marion283681
Wayne276143
George270551
Grenada268888
Newton261564
Tishomingo239370
Winston236584
Jasper229548
Attala225973
Stone225337
Chickasaw218760
Holmes199274
Clay196754
Clarke186280
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181232
Smith178935
Yalobusha171340
Walthall145348
Lawrence141626
Greene139734
Amite136943
Noxubee134835
Perry133238
Montgomery132244
Carroll125931
Webster121032
Jefferson Davis116234
Tunica113427
Benton106225
Claiborne105031
Kemper102329
Humphreys100133
Franklin87723
Quitman84619
Choctaw82319
Wilkinson77732
Jefferson71128
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 577463

Reported Deaths: 11510
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson841981589
Mobile47171860
Madison37047533
Tuscaloosa26915465
Shelby26873256
Montgomery25918625
Baldwin24499328
Lee16949181
Calhoun15252332
Morgan15017290
Etowah14778370
Marshall12933235
Houston11774292
Elmore10761217
St. Clair10617252
Limestone10574158
Cullman10363205
Lauderdale10083254
DeKalb9382191
Talladega8836188
Walker7681287
Autauga7479114
Jackson7317117
Blount7266139
Colbert6635142
Coffee6163132
Dale5453117
Russell470642
Chilton4682117
Covington4649125
Franklin450081
Tallapoosa4440156
Escambia427882
Chambers3898125
Dallas3717163
Clarke367763
Marion3427106
Pike327879
Lawrence3225101
Winston294973
Bibb284565
Geneva276383
Marengo259967
Barbour246261
Pickens240062
Butler238272
Hale232778
Fayette225264
Henry209245
Monroe197241
Randolph196744
Cherokee196348
Washington180139
Macon168752
Crenshaw165558
Clay163759
Cleburne160245
Lamar149938
Lowndes144854
Wilcox130531
Bullock126142
Conecuh119630
Coosa116929
Perry109928
Sumter109032
Greene98736
Choctaw64325
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