The president, Donald Trump, today invoked his executive power to prevent the access of a congressional committee controlled by the Democratic opposition to the full report of special prosecutor Robert Mueller on the Russian plot, which could trigger a battle in the courts.
“Given the flagrant abuse of power by Congressman (Democrat Jerrold) Nadler, and at the request of the attorney general, the president has no choice but to invoke his executive privilege,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
Nadler, who chairs the Judicial Committee of the Lower House, had asked the Justice Department for all of Mueller’s report – including the confidential sections – and some related documents, given that the version of the report published a few weeks ago contained numerous deletions.
The announcement of the White House came as the committee chaired by Nadler was preparing to vote on the possibility of declaring in contempt the attorney general, William Barr, for refusing to deliver the uncensored version of the report.
It is expected that the vote will go ahead in the committee, which would leave in the hands of the plenary of the lower house – controlled also by the Democrats – the decision to request or not to open a judicial process against Barr at the federal level.
Trump’s decision to invoke the figure of “executive privilege”, a doctrine that allows the president to avoid the dissemination of documents or materials used by the executive branch, could generate a battle in the courts over its constitutionality.
In 1974, the Supreme Court studied a similar case during the Watergate scandal then affecting President Richard Nixon, and markedly limited the ability of presidents to invoke “executive privilege.”
Nadler lamented today Trump’s decision, saying that “represents a clear escalation in the generalized challenge” of his Government to “the duties of Congress as they are defined in the Constitution.”
The spokeswoman for the White House, meanwhile, accused Nadler of making “illegal and reckless requests”, and the Democratic opposition to take to the extreme his political battle against Trump.
“They did not like the results of the report (from Mueller), and now they want to redo it,” said Sanders.
The censored version of Mueller’s report indicates that the special prosecutor found no evidence that Trump’s environment collaborated with Russia in his alleged interference in the 2016 elections, but also casts doubt on a presumed obstruction of Justice by the president. (EFEUSA) .-