President Donald Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege concerning the full, unredacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller just as Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, were voting to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not turning over the unredacted report and underlying materials in response to a committee subpoena.
“Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the Attorney General’s request, the President has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“It is sad that Chairman Nadler is only interested in pandering to the press and pleasing his radical left constituency. The American people deserve a Congress that is focused on solving real problems like the crisis at the border, high prescription drug prices, our country’s crumbling infrastructure, and so much more,” Sanders said.
The contempt vote and the executive privilege assertion are the first moves in a process to censure the attorney general and fight for the documents in court.
Nadler, D.-N.Y., called the impasse “a constitutional crisis” in an interview on CNN Wednesday morning.
The Justice Department warned Tuesday night that Barr would ask Trump to invoke executive privilege over the full Mueller report if Democrats moved forward with contempt proceedings.
“Unfortunately, the Committee has responded to our accommodation efforts by escalating its unreasonable demands and scheduling a committee vote to recommend that the Attorney General be held in contempt of Congress,” the Justice Department wrote in a letter to Nadler on Tuesday night. Continue Reading