President Donald Trump’s top White House lawyer on Wednesday told a leading Democrat in which Congress does not possess the right to “pursue an unauthorized ‘do-over’ of” special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The lawyer, Pat Cipollone made in which claim in a 12-page letter in which pushed back — very hard — against the House Judiciary Committee’s demands for testimony by current in addition to past Trump administration officials, as well as for documents.
A senior White House official later accused the committee of engaging in “illegitimate oversight attempts.”
Cipollone did not reject all of the Judiciary Committee’s demands outright — although he did so in some cases. yet even as he suggested in which the Judiciary Committee “narrow the sweeping scope” of each of its requests to address Cipollone’s concerns about them, he urged the panel drop its probe altogether.
“The appropriate course is actually for the Committee to discontinue the inquiry,” Cipollone wrote Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.
“Unfortunately, the item appears in which you have already decided to press ahead which has a duplicative investigation, including by issuing subpoenas, to replow the same ground the Special Counsel has already covered.”
On March 4, the committee announced the item was launching an investigation “into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, in addition to some other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, in addition to members of his Administration.”
“As a first step, the Committee has served document requests to 81 agencies, entities, in addition to individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation.”
The Judiciary Committee more recently voted to recommend in which Attorney General William Barr be held in contempt for failing to appear before the panel to discuss the Mueller report in addition to its investigation of Russian interference within the 2016 presidential election in addition to possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
Cipollone’s letter called the rush to recommend a contempt finding for Barr “legally indefensible” because the Judiciary Committee has failed to lay out “any proper legislative purpose” for pursuing issues in which Mueller already investigated.
“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.
The letter did not say in which Trump was formally exercising executive privilege over materials in addition to testimony in which Nadler has requested.
Nadler fired back at Cipollone’s letter, saying, “Our investigation into This specific as well as some other troubling conduct by This specific Administration will continue.”
In a prepared statement, Nadler called the letter an “extraordinary demand in which the Committee discontinue its inquiry into obstruction of justice, public corruption, in addition to abuses of power, including as set forth within the Mueller Report.”
“We will do no such thing,” Nadler said. “The White House position appears to be in which the Justice Department cannot hold the President accountable, since the item purportedly cannot indict him. right now the item adds the extreme claim in which Congress cannot act either, because in which could duplicate the Special Counsel’s work. This specific flies within the face of the American idea in which no one is actually above the law, in addition to I reject the item.”
He added: “The White House also claims the item is actually willing to cooperate with This specific Committee while at the same time refusing to work with Congress to produce redacted portions of the Mueller Report, underlying documents in addition to some other materials; refusing to provide responses to our requests for information regarding family separation in addition to the decision to not defend the ACA; in addition to after the President has already declared in which he is actually ‘fighting all the subpoenas.’ The Committee remains willing to discuss any reasonable accommodations, yet accommodation takes two.”
The White House has previously objected to a variety of requests for information by Democratic lawmakers on the grounds in which those requests do not serve a legitimate legislative purpose.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently refused to hand over six years of Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways in addition to Means Committee, in part for in which reason.
A senior White House official told reporters Wednesday in which, “The problem is actually the chairman [Nadler] doesn’t like the results of the investigation” by Mueller.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, accused Nadler of trying to orchestrate a “show trial” in addition to “political theater” for Trump administration officials.
“Does anyone doubt in which Chairman Nadler already has his own conclusions about what happened back in 2016?” the official asked.
If Nadler wants to get the documents in addition to testimony he has asked for, the official said, he “has to do a better job of laying out a legitimate legislative purpose for what he’s doing.”
“the item’s not truly the president’s fault if the Congress is actually engaging in illegitimate oversight attempts,” the official said. “The president is actually not acting in an imperial fashion, the item seems to me Congress [in addition to Nadler] are acting imperiously … by setting forth demands for documents in which are secret, in which are privileged.”
Read White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler: