The White House fired back at House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler Wednesday, accusing him of orchestrating a ‘show trial’ and re-do the Mueller probe is it dug in once again on his information requests.
Days after Nadler’s committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt, White House counsel Pat Cippolone fired off a letter accusing Nadler with lacking a ‘legitimate’ legislative purpose in his requests for documents such as the un-redacted Mueller report.
A senior administration official, on a press call organized by the White House, said the longtime member of Congress was seeking a ‘do-over’ of the Mueller report.
‘That’s essentially what he’s trying to do, by doing it in some kind of show trial. He wants to drag witnesses up he wants to hold them in contempt,’ said the official.
President Donald Trump stands with Attorney General William Barr during the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Washington. The White House counsel asked Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler to halt his investigation
Wrote Cippolone: ‘Lost in the Committee’s legally indefensible rush to recommend a contempt citation is the reality that the Committee has not articulated any proper legislative purpose for pursuing inquiries that duplicate matters that were the subject of the Special Counsel’s inquiry.’
He continued: ‘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 accused Nadler of trying to conduct a ‘pseudo law enforcement investigation.’ He claimed Nadler’s inquiries ‘bear no relation to any articulated goal of legitimate congressional oversight. Instead, they amount to little more than an unprecedented effort to interfere with the President’s ability to perform his constitutional duties.’
‘We will do no such thing,’ said Nadler, in response to a White House claim he should end his pobe
President Trump has lauded Attorney General William Barr’s move to open an investigation of the early days of the Russia probe
Barr reportedly joked to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and asked whether she had brought her handcuffs
Democrats so far have been unable to secure the testimony of Special Counsel Robert Mueller
The counsel even asked Nadler to halt his inquiry.
‘Under the circumstances, the appropriate course is for the Committee to discontinue the inquiry discussed in the March 4 letter. Unfortunately, it appears that you have already decided to press ahead with a duplicative investigation, including by issuing subpoenas, to re-plow the same ground the Special Counsel has already covered,’ he wrote.
Nadler, who regularly cites the role of Congress as a coequal branch of government with recognized investigatory power, countered that the White House is claiming President Trump ‘is a king,’ CNN reported.
Nadler said in a statement: ‘Today, the White House made the extraordinary demand that the Committee discontinue its inquiry into obstruction of justice, public corruption, and abuses of power, including as set forth in the Mueller Report. We will do no such thing.’
He continued: The White House position appears to be that the Justice Department cannot hold the President accountable, since it purportedly cannot indict him. Now it adds the extreme claim that Congress cannot act either, because that would duplicate the Special Counsel’s work. This flies in the face of the American idea that no one is above the law, and I reject it.’
‘Our investigation into this as well as other troubling conduct by this Administration will continue,’ vowed Nadler.
‘The White House also claims it is willing to cooperate with this Committee while at the same time refusing to work with Congress to produce redacted portions of the Mueller Report, underlying documents and other materials; refusing to provide responses to our requests for information regarding family separation and the decision to not defend the ACA; and after the President has already declared that he is ‘fighting all the subpoenas.’ The Committee remains willing to discuss any reasonable accommodations, but accommodation takes two.’
Amid the tension in what Nadler has called a constitutional crisis was a bit of levity Wednesday, when Trump joined lawmakers for a peace officers memorial at the Capitol.
Barr, upon greeting Pelosi, jokingly and asked whether she had brought her handcuffs – in reference to her comment last week about jailing people held in contempt.
‘Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?’ Barr asked her, ABC reported. Pelosi smiled told Barr the House Sergeant at Arms was present if needed.