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Executive Branch attempts to usurp Congress with defiant statement on Mueller report

Is this merely another layer of litigious lurching, or will Congress admit defeat?

The fight over the contents of the Mueller report is far from over, even if the Executive Branch would really, really like it to be.

The 22 month long investigation by Robert Mueller sought to uncover attempts by the Russian government to interfere with the US electoral process in 2016.  The investigation’s chronological heft, combined with its final volume of nearly 450 pages, indicates that yes, indeed, The Kremlin was trying to hijack the will of We The People.

Congress, nor anyone outside of the Justice Department and Mueller’s team have seen the entire document – something that has been a big bone of contention for Congress.

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In their oversight capacity, lawmakers have attempted to learn more about these Russian attempts to infiltrate America’s democratic process through testimony from those involved.  A flurry of subpoenas, requests, demands, and public statements have gone unanswered by the White House.

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Until now.

The White House has flatly rejected the House Judiciary Committee’s request for documents in its sweeping investigation into possible obstruction of justice and abuses of power, accusing the Democratically-controlled committee of seeking to recreate the special counsel investigation to harass the President.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter Wednesday to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler arguing that the committee’s request for documents was illegitimate.

The language was unmistakable.

“It appears that the Committee’s inquiry is designed, not to further a legitimate legislative purpose, 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,” Cipollone wrote.

“Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized ‘do-over’ of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice,” he added.

Given Congress’ authority as a coequal branch of government, this latest rebuke will likely regarded as little more than another layer of bureaucratic bombast.


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