President Trump is claiming executive privilege over special counsel Robert Mueller’s entire report and the underlying documents, according to two sources familiar with the situation, rendering an already tense relationship between the White House and Capitol Hill even more so.
The news comes amid a House Judiciary Committee hearing to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. The move also comes as Mueller has been invited to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote Nadler a letter stating that because the committee rejected the Justice Department’s request to delay the contempt hearing against Barr, negotiations over any accommodations would be terminated, and “the President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of subpoenaed materials.” It is, Boyd continued, a “protective assertion” of privilege intended to ensure President Trump’s ability to “make a final decision whether to assert privilege following a full review of these materials.”
“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.”
The decision could complicate the question of whether the administration.
Mr. Trump said Sunday he doesn’t think Mueller should testify, and has already said his White House is fighting “all the subpoenas” from Capitol Hill.