President Donald Trump will use his executive privilege to shut down demands from House Democrats for more information on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the White House said Wednesday.
The statement came as the House Judiciary Committee prepared to vote on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after he refused to testify before the committee last week. Barr refused the terms set by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler.
“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 Huckabee Sanders said in the statement. She called Nadler’s demands for compliance “unlawful and reckless.” (RELATED: White House Slams Mueller In Letter To Attorney General Barr)
In addition to testimony from Barr, the Judiciary Committee has demanded a fully unredacted version of the Mueller report. Many Republicans say that could be dangerous, because of the sensitive nature of the redacted portions, and possibility of it leaking to the press.
“The Attorney General has been transparent and accommodating throughout this process, including by releasing the no-collusion, no-conspiracy, no-obstruction Mueller Report to the public and offering to testify before the Committee,” Sanders added in the statement. “These attempts to work with the Committee have been flatly rejected. They didn’t like the results of the report, and now they want a redo.”
Trump has previously made a point of not using his executive privilege over the Mueller investigation. The White House said he did not request a single redaction in the Mueller report based on that privilege and played up that point after its release.
Nadler asserted the White House wouldn’t follow through on the assertion of executive privilege in a statement before the contempt vote Wednesday. He said the assertion of executive privilege, in this case, would be “utterly without merit or legal or factual basis.”