White House Rejects "Reckless" Congress Demand For Full Russia Report

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Wednesday, Trump invoked executive privilege to defy a Congressional subpoena for special counsel Robert S. Mueller's complete and unredacted report.

Barr sent a letter dated Wednesday to the President, requesting he make a protective assertion of executive privilege with respect to the documents the House committee subpoenaed.

The contempt resolution will now proceed to the full House, but the outcome of that vote does not matter. If it is approved, it would trigger a criminal referral to the USA attorney for the District of Columbia, which would decide whether to prosecute. And the White House in a mid-April letter to the Justice Department argued that while Trump did not assert executive privileged for the Mueller investigation, allowing aides like McGahn to cooperate, he could still do so for any witnesses asked to appear before Congress.

Nadler accused Barr of acting as the "personal attorney" of President Donald Trump and of "not being truthful with Congress".

"The Trump administration has taken obstruction of Congress to new heights", he said in his opening remarks. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein subsequently concluded that Trump did not break the law.

Trump is stonewalling numerous investigations by the Democrats, who control the House, of his administration, family and business interests, with court action likely to follow.

On Wednesday, Democrats on the committee successfully pushed through a measure to hold AG Barr in contempt of Congress.

How did the White House respond?

"Some Democrats have even raised the prospect of arresting the Treasury Secretary if he does not comply with congressional demands". Doug Collins and South Carolina Sen.

He continues, "Much of it concerns events before the president took over or wrongdoing by executive branch officials, neither of which would be covered by the privilege, and the privilege was waived for much of the subpoenaed material either when that material was made public or when the White House voluntarily made it available to investigators". "And I fully support holding this attorney general in contempt for refusing to comply with constitutional foundations". The accounts are based partly on the documents sought by House Democrats.

Mueller has "also said his work is over, so he could resign his job as special counsel tonight and walk into the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning and give testimony", he added.

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Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton believes Attorney General William Barr has been more than accommodating and transparent in regards to the release of the Mueller Report. The department rejected the offer. Democrats have so far said they won't view that version until they get broader access.

Executive privilege is a right claimed by presidents to withhold information about internal executive branch deliberations from other branches of government.

Republicans accuse Democrats of attempting to discredit Barr because the attorney general is reviewing the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation and looking into allegations that the Obama administration spied on Trump's campaign.

It was the first time that Congress had held the top USA law enforcement official or any Cabinet member in contempt. If he did not, the department warned, Trump would assert executive privilege over the entire Mueller report.

In a related move, Nadler also threatened to hold former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress if he doesn't testify before the committee later this month.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration stymied a separate effort by House Judiciary Democrats to subpoena records from McGahn, directing him not to provide the documents. Pelosi said that lawmakers were in the process of protecting sources and methods in order to release the report before the White House stepped in.

If the House approves the resolution, Pelosi would send a referral to the USA attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie Liu, a Trump appointee, or the Justice Department, which Barr oversees. The department has continued to offer a small group of senior lawmakers in both parties to view the report, something that was unacceptable to Democrats.

FILE - Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 1, 2019.

Republicans have largely united behind the president, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday declaring "case closed" on Mueller's Russian Federation probe and potential obstruction by Mr Trump. "It's finally over", McConnell said in prepared remarks.

"Case closed" - that's what's Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has to say about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller didn't charge Trump but wrote that he couldn't exonerate him, either.

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