Mar 15, 2022 - News

House GOP requests city review Bowser admin's WhatsApp use

Photo illustration of Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser with lines radiating from her.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Bill O'Leary/Getty Images

House Republicans want the D.C. inspector general to review the Bowser administration’s use of WhatsApp.

Driving the news: The top Republican on the House committee overseeing the District and 13 GOP colleagues last night sent a letter to the inspector general seeking a probe. It comes after an Axios investigation found that the use of the app raises public records-keeping concerns.

What they’re saying: “We request that your office conduct an in-depth review of Mayor Bowser and other government officials’ use of WhatsApp and other private text messaging services to conduct business,” said the letter, which was circulated only among Republicans.

The D.C. Office of Inspector General and the mayor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Catch up quick: The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation this month to require that communications on messaging platforms should be retained. The law also forbids the use of a WhatsApp feature that can auto-delete messages.

Between the lines: House Republicans plan to use the oversight committee to scrutinize the Bowser administration if they win back control of the chamber this fall. 

  • D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton recently denounced rhetoric from Republicans that suggest they may try to repeal the D.C. Home Rule Act if they win control of the House.

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