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Trump Asserts Executive Privilege Over Unredacted Mueller Report

trump9 sept 08may19 lt

President Donald Trump has made a protective assertion of executive privilege over an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump made the assertion at the request of Attorney General William Barr, who claimed the report and related materials subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee include sensitive information the Justice Department is prohibited from disclosing.

A letter sent by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., noted the protective assertion ensures Trump's ability to make a final decision on whether to assert privilege following a full review of the materials.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders accused Nadler of making "unlawful and reckless demands" in an effort to distract the American people from the president's "historically successful agenda and our booming economy."

"It is sad that Chairman Nadler is only interested in pandering to the press and pleasing his radical left constituency," Sanders said in a statement.

She added, "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."

Trump's protective assertion of executive privilege comes as members of the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee are debating whether to hold Barr in contempt for refusing to comply with the subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report.

Nadler described the protective assertion as a "clear escalation in the Trump Administration's blanket defiance of Congress's constitutionally mandated duties" in remarks ahead of the vote.

"Every day we learn of new efforts by this Administration to stonewall Congress," Nadler said. "If allowed to go unchecked, this obstruction means the end of congressional oversight.

He added, "I urge my colleagues, whether or not you care to see the full Mueller Report—and we all should want to see the complete Report—to stand up for the institution we are proud to serve."

Mueller's investigation identified "numerous links" between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign, but the evidence was "not sufficient to support criminal charges."

Barr has also claimed evidence uncovered by the special counsel was not sufficient to establish that Trump committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.

The move to withhold the unredacted Mueller report comes even though Trump has claimed he was "totally exonerated" by the investigation.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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