House Judiciary chief calls White House stance on panel probe 'preposterous'

A showdown is looming between President Donald Trump and Jerry Nadler the Democratic Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee whose efforts to probe the president were rejected by a White House insider as a

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

Cipollone has sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) refusing any and all requests for documents, and refusing refusing any and all testimony of current and even former White House aides.

The response from White House lawyer Pat Cipollone calls on committee Chairman Nadler to narrow his request for documents that the president's team contends are protected by executive privilege.

Although Mueller's investigation is finished, Democrats contend that they still have a right to probe Mr. Trump, since the special counsel's report outlined 10 possible instances of Mr. Trump committing obstruction of justice.

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 objective".

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for not providing an unredacted copy of the Mueller report and underlying evidence, including secret grand jury material. In a statement accompanying the 81 wide-ranging document requests, Nadler said that "Investigating [President Trump's] threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee".

"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.

But Cipollone said the inquiry "is designed not to further a legitimate legislative objective, but rather to conduct a pseudo law enforcement investigation on matters that were already the subject of the Special Counsel's long running investigation and are outside the constitutional authority of the legislative branch".

USA blacklists Chinese giant Huawei, affiliated companies
The Department of Commerce found that steel and aluminum imports are a threat to U.S. national security and recommended tariffs. If Huawei "can't get the widget or the part or the software update to keep functioning, then those systems go down", he said.

Cipollone's 12-page letter is in response to a March 4 request from Nadler for a wide-range of documents related to the Russian Federation investigation.

Isn't this essentially obstruction of justice?

A senior White House official also said that the administration expects Nadler to conclude that Mr. Trump obstructed justice, regardless of the special counsel's investigation.

The White House does not assert executive privilege in the letter.

"This investigation that Chairman Nadler thinks he's somehow going to replicate has been done and done thoroughly", the White House official said.

Cipollone complained Nadler's committee has been eager to try to publicly tar the White House as uncooperative, pushing to hold officials in contempt, while ignoring the legal flaws in its demands.

The administration's presentation in federal court Tuesday over a lawsuit in which they are attempting to block the House Oversight Committee's subpoena for Trump's financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA showed how weak their arguments for stonewalling are, Jayapal said. Trump's advisers have pushed him to defy congressional investigations in hopes of luring Democrats into moves they say will turn voters against the party in the 2020 elections - including the possibility of the president's impeachment.

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