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Opinion

Trump Goes Nuclear with Unprecedented Defiance of Congress

The President’s latest move could be a bit of an optics issue, with the American people overwhelmingly in favor of transparency.

Just days ago President Trump declared “it’s done”, in clear reference to the ongoing saga surrounding the release of the Mueller report.

He very much meant what he said.

Today, the President’s administration issued a sweeping, stern rebuke to Congress on the subject of their request for access to the un-redacted version of the Mueller report.

President Trump asserted executive privilege on Wednesday in a bid to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying documents from subpoena by the House Judiciary Committee.

The president’s move came after the Justice Department, late Tuesday night, requested that the House Judiciary Committee postpone a scheduled vote on to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena to provide the Mueller files to the panel. The Justice Department warned that if the committee did not postpone the vote, the attorney general would recommend that Trump claim executive privilege over the materials.

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Concerns over the legality and validity of the claim will surely dominate the coming news cycle, as Congress continues to highlight their rights as a coequal branch of government.

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The exertion of executive privilege in this context will also provide the President with an issue of optics as well, as the American people overwhelmingly insist on seeing the entire text of the document.

At one time both President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr expressed their desire for transparency in the case, but democratic congressional harassment seems to have swayed their opinions.

 

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