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.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 62°
Columbus
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 62°
Oxford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 59°
Starkville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather