White House rejects cooperating in Congress 'show trial'

Nadler speaks after House judiciary votes to hold Barr in contempt

Nadler speaks after House judiciary votes to hold Barr in contempt

Such investigations should aid legislation, not "harass political opponents or. pursue an unauthorized "do-over" of exhaustive law enforcement investigations", wrote White House counsel Pat Cipollone in the letter, referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's two year investigation into the president's alleged ties to Moscow.

The White House sharply escalated its resistance to congressional attempts to investigate President Donald Trump, notifying the House Judiciary panel Wednesday that it would refuse to comply with sweeping requests for documents and witness testimony while declaring that the legislative branch had no right to a "do-over" of the special counsel's Russian Federation probe.

In giving a list of multiple "legal flaws" contained in the committee's recent document demands, Cipollone explained that "it appears that the Committee's inquiry is designed, not to further a legitimate legislative objective, but rather to conduct a pseudo law enforcement investigation on matters that were already the subject of the Special Counsel's long-running investigation and are outside the constitutional authority of the legislative branch".

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 goal to investigate the questions it is pursuing.

In the letter, Cipollone did not exert executive privilege over the materials requested by Nadler, but he argued that the White House would be within its right to do so.

But Cipollone stopped short of asserting executive privilege. Unfortunately, it appears that you have already chose to press ahead with a duplicative investigation, including by issuing subpoenas, to re-plow the same ground the Special Counsel has already covered, ' he wrote. He wants to drag witnesses up he wants to hold them in contempt, ' said the official. The deadline for the Justice Department to comply was Wednesday. The letters went to both current and former official and campaign staffers as well as top Trump Organization officials and Trump's family members.

Judiciary panel voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress after he defied the committee's subpoena for the unredacted report.

But the White House is only directly responding to Nadler's letter to the White House.

Democrats, while debating whether to proceed down a path toward impeachment, have ratcheted up their probes.

The letter was drafted in response to Nadler's 4 March request for documents from the White House for a congressional investigation of allegations of obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power.

The documents requested by the committee relate to everything from the contents of Trump's meetings with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to his communications with the former White House counsel Donald McGahn, the firing of the former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and the former FBI director James Comey, and possible pardons for Trump associates who pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from the investigation.

President Trump takes questions from reporters on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday.

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