The White House on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, ramping up its clash with Congress over its investigations into President Trump.
The move came just before the House Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying materials, which the panel had subpoenaed.
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in a letter to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), that the administration was following through on its threat to assert privilege if the panel refused to delay the contempt vote, saying lawmakers effectively “terminated” negotiations over access to Mueller’s report and underlying evidence.
“As we have repeatedly explained, the attorney general could not comply with your subpoena in its current form without violating the law, court rules and court orders, and without threatening the independence of the Department of Justice’s prosecutorial functions,” Boyd wrote. “Accordingly, this is to advise you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials.”
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