Trump invokes executive privilege over Mueller report

09 May, 2019, 02:46 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • CNN's Chris Cillizza published a fictional article about Trump refusing to leave office after a 2020 defeat

The White House defiantly asserted executive privilege Wednesday and refused to comply with "unlawful and reckless" demands by congressional Democrats to turn over an unredacted version of the special counsel's Russian Federation report.

House Judiciary Committee chief Jerrold Nadler slammed the USA president's decision as "blanket defiance" of Congress' rightful demands and accused the White House of "misapplying the doctrine of executive privilege".

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee voted on May 8 to recommend the full House of Representatives to vote to find Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.

The current attorney general, who was appointed by the president, missed another deadline last week to release an uncensored version of the report.

However, it would send a powerful message to the White House that congressional Democrats won't retreat in an increasingly vitriolic showdown.

"Neither the White House nor Attorney-General Barr will comply with Chairman Nadler's unlawful and reckless demands", she said.

"The Attorney General has been transparent and accommodating throughout this process, including by releasing the no-collusion, no-conspiracy, no-obstruction Mueller Report to the public and offering to testify before the Committee", Sanders added. "The department's legal arguments are without credibility, merit, or legal or factual basis".

While Pelosi still opposes introducing articles of impeachment against Trump, Pelosi said Wednesday that Trump is "becoming self-impeachable" due to his efforts to ignore Congressional subpoenas and prevent key individuals from testifying before Congress.

Democrats are adamant that Barr should turn over the entire unredacted Mueller report and any underlying materials, which the Justice Department has refused.

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White House lawyers are attempting to block McGahn from testifying. It said: "This is to advise you that the President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials". It signals that House Democrats will get enough votes to accept Nadler's recommendation for contempt on Barr.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed the chairman's decision.

The full Democratically controlled House would then vote on the rebuke.

Late Tuesday, the Justice Department delivered a letter to Nadler requesting that he delay the vote.

"There's this outrage industrial complex that spans from Capitol press conferences to cable news", McConnell said Tuesday.

House Democrats argued that Trump has already waived any right to executive privilege by allowing aides to provide information to the special counsel. The department has rejected that demand, while allowing a handful of lawmakers to view a version of Mueller's report with fewer redactions.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that documents subpoenaed from his predecessor, Don McGahn, are protected from disclosure. Barr, in a memo summarizing Mueller's investigation, said there was insufficient evidence that Trump obstructed justice, a conclusion Democrats fiercely dispute. Some committee members have suggested they also could fine Barr as he withholds the information, which is spelled out in a contempt of Congress statute from 1938. More than 500 former Justice Department officials have signed an open letter calling Trump's actions described in the Mueller report criminal.

"They know the Justice Department is working to negotiate even as they pursue contempt charges, making their move. illogical and disingenuous", Collins said.

"Senator McConnell's declaration of "case closed" is a stunning act of political cynicism and a brazen violation of the oath we all take", they said.



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