The battle for the full release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections has yet to stop, and President Donald Trump just made a move that looks to prolong it even further. As PBS reports, the White House announced on Wednesday that Trump is asserting executive privilege over the report, seeking to block the release of redacted portions.
In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said that the move “ensures the President’s ability to make a final decision whether to assert privilege following a review of these materials.”
Nadler responded to the move by suggesting that it is yet another example of Trump’s “blanket defiance” to Congress’s constitutional rights.
“Every day we learn of new efforts by this administration to stonewall Congress. This is unprecedented.”
The decision comes just as the House Judiciary Committee was deciding on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to release an unredacted Mueller report.
Following the Justice Department letter, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders criticized Nadler, suggesting that his attempts to obtain the full report were tantamount to breaking the law, per CNN.
“They’re asking for information they know they can’t have. The attorney general is actually upholding the law.”
READ: Trump asserts executive privilege over unredacted Mueller report, Justice Department letter says - CNNPolitics https://t.co/qObcZvcBlC— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 8, 2019
“Chairman Nadler is asking the attorney general of the United States to break the law and commit a crime by releasing information that he knows he has no legal authority to have,” she added.
Nadler has been relentless in his fight for the full report, and recently threatened to hold former White House counsel Don McGahn — who resigned from his position after Trump allegedly asked him to fire Mueller during the investigation— in contempt of Congress, should McGahn decline to testify before the committee.
In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called Trump’s assertion of executive privilege “a stunning act of political cynicism and a brazen violation of the oath we all take.”
On the other hand, Republicans are supporting the president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that the pushback from Democrats is “grieving” from the result of the Russia probe. The investigation did not establish that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and also failed to reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice charges against the president.
As The Inquisitr reported yesterday, Barr’s latest letter to Nadler — which is available on DocumentCloud — may have provoked Congress to seek to impeach Trump in order to obtain the Mueller report. But Democratic leaders in Congress don’t seem too keen on the idea, and Pelosi previously dismissed the idea of impeaching the president.