LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, today called for an investigation into allegations that the federal government improperly denied or delayed aid to California wildfire victims.
The letter, also signed by 26 members of Congress from California, follows allegations from a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official that President Trump ordered FEMA to deny assistance to the state because of California's Democratic leanings.
The lawmakers said in the letter that “the notion that the President made decisions about disaster assistance based on the political preferences of disaster victims is alarming and carries with it possible legal implications. As such, we request an investigation into whether any inappropriate or illegal behavior has occurred with regards to California wildfire assistance.''
At a rally Thursday in Pennsylvania, Trump blamed California for its wildfires and threatened to withhold federal money, as he has done during the previous two years.
“I see again the forest fires are starting,'' he said. “They're starting again in California. I said, you gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests -- there are many, many years of leaves and broken trees and they're like, like, so flammable, you touch them and it goes up.''
He added, “Maybe we're just going to have to make them pay for it because they don't listen to us.''
Lieu's letter to DHS Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari states that “It is imperative that decisions related to disaster assistance be free from improper political interference. Our constituents have suffered gravely from these fires and deserve to know whether any improper or illegal behavior has occurred.''
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