|U.S. President Barack Obama (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)|
15 July 2014
The White House is attempting this week to fend off a subpoena from Congress intended to compel a top political advisor for United States President Barack Obama from testifying on Capitol Hill.
On Monday, the White House sent a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asking the congressman to consider attending a closed-door meeting with administration officials on Tuesday in lieu of having an Obama aide answer questions on the Hill.
At issue is what David Simas, a top political adviser to the president, has to say about the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach’s compliance with the Hatch Act — a 1930 legislation that largely restricts members of the executive branch from engaging in partisan politics. Simas was appointed to head that office when its creation was announced by the White House in January 2014, and two months later Issa asked for "all documents and communications, including e-mails" about the launch of the government-funded department, according to Politico, which previously existed as the Office of Political Affairs.