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The White House’s top lawyer told the House Judiciary Committee chairman Wednesday that Congress has no right to a “do-over” of the special counsel’s investigation of President Trump and refused a broad demand for records and testimony from dozens of current and former White House staff.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s letter to committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) constitutes a sweeping rejection — not just of Nadler’s request for White House records, but of Congress’s standing to investigate Trump for possible obstruction of justice. In his letter, Cipollone repeated a claim the White House and Trump’s business have begun making: that Congress is not a law enforcement body and does not have a legitimate purpose to investigate the questions it is pursuing.
The article goes on to state the following:
But Cipollone stopped short of asserting executive privilege. Instead, he told Nadler he would consider a narrowed request if the chairman spells out the legislative purpose and legal support for the information he is seeking.
“Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized ‘do-over’ of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice,” Cipollone wrote.
Cipollone said the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report now makes Congress’s questions moot. He stressed that probe was “exhaustive” — the product of 2,800 subpoenas, 500 executed search warrants and 500 witness interviews — and that the president supported the report’s full release “in the interest of transparency.”
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White House Counsel Pat Cipillone sends letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler stating the WH will not comply with the committee's request for staff documents and testimony https://t.co/YRK6nO5Ysi
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) May 15, 2019
The letter does not instruct current/former White House officials to ignore the Judiciary Committee investigation but says, "[a]s a matter of basic courtesy and respect for a co-equal branch of our government," all requests should be routed through the WH counsel.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) May 15, 2019
BREAKING: White House Counsel Pat Cipollone tells House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler that Congress has no right to a “do-over” of Mueller’s investigation and will instruct 81 Trump allies and entities not to comply with document and testimony requests. https://t.co/eJM3ydEYfC pic.twitter.com/zHcoT6E5cF
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) May 15, 2019
No ‘do-over’ on Mueller probe, White House lawyer tells House panel, saying demands for records, staff testimony will be refused https://t.co/6BDNUmfVtb
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 15, 2019
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