White House rejects House request for documents for Trump investigation

No ‘do-over’ on Mueller probe, White House lawyer tells House panel, saying demands for records, staff testimony will be refused

The documents requested by the Committee relate to everything from the contents of Trump's meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin to his communications with former White House counsel Donald McGahn, the firing of former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, and possible pardons for Trump associates who pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from the probe.

He suggests Democrats are seeking a "do-over" of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

In his letter to Nadler, Cipollone not only indicated that the White House would deny requests for documents and testimony related to the investigation, he also argued that the investigation does not have a "proper legislative goal".

Democrats are clashing with the administration on myriad fronts, including over access to Mueller's full report. In that letter, he also objected to the committee's vote last week to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena for Mueller's unredacted Russian Federation report and underlying materials - even as Trump asserted executive privilege to protect those documents.

While the White House is not asserting executive privilege over any of the documents the committee chairman Rep.

"If the Committee continues to pursue its inquiry, the requests in the Committee's March 4 letter suffer from numerous legal defects and reflect little, if any, respect for the legitimate interests of the Executive Branch or for the accommodation process that governs congressional requests for information from the Executive", Cipollone wrote. The White House is seeking to shield a large swathe of material - including redacted portions of Mueller's report - that was subpoenaed by lawmakers seeking to exert their oversight responsibility.

"Congressional investigations are meant to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation", wrote Cipollone, "not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized "do-over" of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice".

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Cipollone also said that, due to the apparent duplicative nature of the House investigation and the lack of an underlying legislative goal for them, "the requests raise serious concerns of violating the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution".

"The Justice Department says they can't hold the president accountable because you can't indict a president and now they are saying 'neither can Congress.' So the president is totally uncountable and above the law".

Trump has sued to block a congressional subpoena for financial records from his accounting firm, while the White House has directed McGahn not to cooperate with a Judiciary Committee subpoena for records.

"He wants to drag witnesses up, he wants to hold them in contempt", the official said about Barr.

No headway was made on establishing a testimony date for Mueller, according to Nadler, who said earlier that morning that the Justice Department was "reluctant" to allow the special counsel or McGahn to testify.

"Now it adds the extreme claim that Congress can not act either, because that would duplicate the special counsel's work", said Nadler.

Nadler said Trump has gone further than any other president in fighting congressional subpoenas.

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