The political football known as the Mueller Report just got more legendary than it already was. Prior to a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voting to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for not shipping over an unredacted version of the document – despite it including grand jury information that is to remain confidential to the Department of Justice by law – President Donald Trump exerted executive privilege and essentially told the Democrats on the committee to go pound sand.
In a letter sent to Rep. Nadler, the White House explained:
BREAKING: President Trump asserted executive privilege Wednesday to block the release of the full, unredacted Mueller report, according to the White House. for more : https://t.co/cWChhALGS6 pic.twitter.com/CXiZgUGEFr
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) May 8, 2019
“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,” Sanders said.
Not that irate Democrats did not lay all the problems facing the nation at the president’s feet, and claim, erroneously, that Trump is behaving like a dictator when it comes to what the American people “want to know” whether we have a right to it or not.
“For the first time in the history of the United States, a president is now exerting executive privilege over every aspect of life that the American people desire to have information.” —@JacksonLeeTX18 pic.twitter.com/C73Mf5yG7V
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) May 8, 2019
No proof of this exertion of privilege is offered, but then, that is not the point. Oh, no. The point is political and the Democrats blaming the president for their own dereliction of duty especially in light of court victories on some of his signature issues.
Nadler, D.-N.Y., called the impasse “a constitutional crisis” in an interview on CNN Wednesday morning and as the hearing began said, “If allowed to go unchecked, this obstruction means the end of congressional oversight. No person—and certainly not the top law enforcement officer in the country—can be permitted to flout the will of Congress and to defy a valid subpoena,” he said.
But that does not mean that Congress has the right to demand unfettered access to information on ongoing investigations within Cabinet-level departments. Besides, the sign off for answering the subpoena would have to come from the Attorney General himself. Somehow, that does not seem to be something William Barr would be inclined to do.