UPDATED 8:40 AM PT — Wednesday, May 8, 2019
President Trump is asserting his executive privilege to block the release of the full unredacted Mueller report.
In a letter to House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler Wednesday, the Justice Department revealed it will not comply with any subpoenas. The department said the president is using his privilege for the entirety of the requested materials.
Soon after the announcement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement accusing Nadler of abusing his power and using the report to “distract” from the president’s historically successful agenda.
Statement on Executive Privilege pic.twitter.com/6ujCZDnMC0
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 8, 2019
Meanwhile, the Judiciary Committee is preparing to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of ongress over his refusal to comply with a subpoena for the full Mueller report and underlying evidence. The Democrat-led panel approved a vote to consider a contempt citation against Barr in a 22-to-12 party line vote Wednesday.
This comes despite the Department of Justice warning the panel the attorney general would have to ask the president to invoke executive privilege regarding the report and underlying evidence if they went through with the contempt process.
During consideration, ranking member Doug Collins accused Democrats of being afraid of the possible findings of Barr’s ongoing investigation:
“Democrats are afraid of what the attorney general will find when he completes his ongoing review of FISA abuses of the Justice Department, including how the Russia investigation began. Multiple news reports have suggested those could be explosive, could end careers, and could even lead to criminal prosecution. Rather than face that, the Democrats have resolved to neutralize Will Barr by attacking him and the office, his integrity, and his career.”
The matter now will be voted on by the whole House of Representatives.