The White House continues to defy a Congressional inquiry into potential abuses of power by Donald Trump. Today White House attorney Pat Cipollone issued this letter in response to a March 4th inquiry from the House Judiciary Chairman. Some are calling the move “more stonewalling.” The Washington Post reports:
The White House’s top lawyer told the House Judiciary Committee chairman Wednesday that Congress has no right to a “do-over” of the special counsel’s investigation of President Trump and refused a broad demand for records and testimony from dozens of current and former White House staff.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s letter to committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) constitutes a sweeping rejection — not just of Nadler’s request for White House records, but of Congress’s standing to investigate Trump for possible obstruction of justice. In his letter, Cipollone repeated a claim the White House and Trump’s business have begun making: that Congress is not a law enforcement body and does not have a legitimate purpose to investigate the questions it is pursuing.
Cipollone’s letter stated:
“The White House will not participate in the Committee’s ‘investigation’ that brushes aside the conclusions of the Department of Justice after a two-year-long effort in favor of political theater pre-ordained to reach a preconceived and false result.
It goes on to say:
The appropriate course is for the Committee to discontinue the
inquiry discussed in the March 4 letter. Unfortunately, it appears that you have already decided to press ahead with a duplicative investigation, including by issuing subpoenas, to replow the same ground the Special Counsel has already covered. I ask that you reconsider that approach.
Cipollone wrote, however, that he was not exerting executive privilege, adding that he would consider more narrow requests from the committee if it can provide the legal support and legislative purpose for such requests.