By Steve Neavling
U.S. House members investigating a secret and offensive Facebook group used by former and current Border Patrol members are accusing U.S. Customs and Border Protection of “stonewalling” an investigation into the social media page.
In a letter to CBP administrators, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., says the agency continues to hold up documents needed to investigate the group.
“To date, CBP has not produced any information regarding a single employee who was involved in the secret Facebook groups and has not made a single witness available for a transcribed interview. This stonewalling is unacceptable,” Maloney wrote in the letter, according to The Hill.
She added, “The Committee now insists on full compliance with all of its previous requests, or we will be forced to consider compulsory process.”
In July, CBP says it was investigating the Facebook group.
ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news outlet, revealed the group, which included offensive content and demeaning posts that targeted undocumented immigrants and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
One of the posts included an illustration of President Trump pushing the congresswoman’s head toward his crotch. In another post, a member encouraged agents to toss a “burrito at these bitches,” referring to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Then-Border Patrol chief Carla Provost said in a statement last year that the “posts are are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out.”
Last summer, the House Oversight Committed began investigating the group, but now officials say they have hit a wall because CBP is not cooperating.
“CBP has been obstructing the committee’s investigation by making baseless and shifting legal claims in order to avoid producing critical documents and witnesses,” the letter reads.
“As a result, the Committee has been unable to determine whether CBP employees who made inappropriate and threatening comments are still on the job, potentially putting children, immigrants and fellow CBP employees at risk,” Maloney added.