Donald Trump exerts executive privilege over the full Mueller report
In the midst of the ongoing battle over the redacted Mueller report, Donald Trump has asserted executive privilege this week.
Last month, Attorney General William P. Barr released a redacted version of the special counsel's 448-page report, but many Democrats have been fighting to see the full version. Barr has been accused of refusing to give in to a legitimate request for material needed to carry out an investigation into any possible obstruction of justice or abuses of power by Trump.
The House Judiciary Committee planned to vote Wednesday morning, deciding whether to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for denying a subpoena for the material. Following the announcement of this vote last Tuesday, the Justice Department threatened to ask the President to invoke executive privilege over the hidden portions of the report and all related evidence.
In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Barr's deputy, Stephen E. Boyd, wrote:
“In the face of the committee’s threatened contempt vote, the attorney general will be compelled to request that the president invoke executive privilege with respect to the material subject to the subpoenas.
"I hereby request that the committee hold the subpoena in abeyance and delay any vote on whether to recommend a citation of contempt for noncompliance with the subpoena, pending the president’s determination of this question.”
Following this threat, Representative Jerrold Nadler said that the department's position had no "credibility, merit or legal or factual basis" in response. “In the coming days, I expect that Congress will have no choice but to confront the behavior of this lawless administration,” Nadler said last week. “The committee will also take a hard look at the officials who are enabling this cover-up.”
On Wednesday morning, Boyd wrote another statement relating to the evidence sought by the Democratic party. “This is to advise you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials,” he said. In addition to this, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement on the administration's position.
“The American people see through Chairman Nadler’s desperate ploy to distract from the President’s historically successful agenda and our booming economy," she wrote. "Neither the White House nor Attorney General Barr will comply with Chairman Nadler’s unlawful and reckless demands."