Things are getting heated in Washington, D.C. surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report — especially now that the president is invoking “executive privilege.”
Congress members are clashing on Capitol Hill with the president as Democrats were looking to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not handing over the full, unredacted report.
“Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the Attorney General’s request, the President has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) slammed House Democrats for wanting Barr to release Mueller’s unredacted report.
“You cannot be in contempt for failing to produce what would be illegal to produce without a court order,” Gohmert said during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.
“You’re on the wrong side of history,” the Republican lawmaker declared to the Democrats. “And there is no joy here seeing the abuses.”
Watch the video below:
.@replouiegohmert blasts Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who want Barr to release the full undereducated Mueller Report.
"You cannot be in contempt for failing to produce what would be illegal to produce without a court order. You're on the wrong side of history." pic.twitter.com/hRmXx8mFYT
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 8, 2019
In response to the executive privilege, the White House press secretary blasted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s “desperate ploy to distract from the President’s historically successful agenda and our booming economy.”
Sanders continued in the statement:
“The Attorney General has been transparent and accommodating throughout this process, including by releasing the no-collusion, no-conspiracy, no-obstruction Mueller Report to the public and offering to testify before the Committee. These attempts to work with the Committee have been flatly rejected. They didn’t like the results of the report, and now they want a redo.
Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the Attorney General’s request, the President has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege.”
Read the letter of executive privilege below:
JUST IN: As the House Judiciary Committee begins a hearing to hold Barr in contempt, Trump asserts executive privilege.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 8, 2019
Following the assertion of executive privilege, Nadler claimed during Wednesday’s hearing that the “decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump Administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’ constitutionally-mandated duties.”
Watch the videos below:
Rep. Jerry Nadler: "The Department seemed open to sharing these materials with us just yesterday, This decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump Administration's blanket defiance of Congress' constitutionally-mandated duties." https://t.co/tyQwXRUqN0 pic.twitter.com/ib2UUpsm5a
— The Hill (@thehill) May 8, 2019
Rep. Jerry Nadler: "The department abruptly announced that if we move forward today, it would ask President Trump to invoke what it refers to as a protective assertion of executive privilege… Just minutes ago, it took that dramatic step." https://t.co/tyQwXRUqN0 pic.twitter.com/yZWQWWmrL8
— The Hill (@thehill) May 8, 2019
“[…] Take a minute to let this sink in,” Sanders told reporters outside of the White House on Wednesday, “Chairman Nadler is asking the attorney general of the United States to break the law and commit a crime by releasing information that he knows he has no legal authority to have.”
She added, “It’s truly outrageous and absurd what the chairman is doing and he should be embarrassed by his behavior.”
Correction [5/8/19, 5:43 p.m. EST]: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that President Donald Trump’s usage of executive privilege blocked the vote on holding Barr in contempt. We have corrected the error.