July 01, 2020

Hirono Demands Commerce Department Stop Obstructing Release of Inspector General Report on “Sharpiegate” Controversy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) called on the Department of Commerce to stop obstructing the release of the Inspector General (IG) Peggy Gustafson’s report into the politicization of science during Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.

“Americans in the path of a serious storm should be able to rely on the federal government to provide factual, science-based information to keep them safe,” Senator Hirono said. “‘Sharpiegate’ was a completely unnecessary and harmful attempt by President Trump to justify factually incorrect information for his own political purposes. These actions are part of two alarming patterns within the administration: a willingness to dismiss and actively suppress science, and the consistent undermining of Inspectors General. Americans deserve to know what is in Inspector General Gusafson’s report and I call on the Department to work with her to release it immediately.”

The Commerce Department Inspector General Gustafson announced last week that she intended to post her full investigation into “Sharpiegate” on Monday, June 29. Her office released a letter today indicating that Department employees were obstructing the release of the report.

In September 2019, Senator Hirono led 13 Senate Democrats in requesting the Inspector General investigation into “Sharpiegate.”