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Wed May 15, 2019, 03:39 PM

No 'do-over' on Mueller probe, White House lawyer tells House panel, saying demands for records, sta [View all]

Source: Washington Post

No ‘do-over’ on Mueller probe, White House lawyer tells House panel, saying demands for records, staff testimony will be refused

By Carol D. Leonnig and Josh Dawsey
May 15 at 2:02 PM

The White House’s top lawyer told the House Judiciary Committee chairman Wednesday that Congress has no right to a “do-over” of the special counsel’s investigation of President Trump and refused a broad demand for records and testimony from dozens of current and former White House staff.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s letter to committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) constitutes a sweeping rejection — not just of Nadler’s request for White House records, but of Congress’s standing to investigate Trump for possible obstruction of justice. In his letter, Cipollone repeated a claim the White House and Trump’s business have begun making: that Congress is not a law enforcement body and does not have a legitimate purpose to investigate the questions it is pursuing.

But Cipollone stopped short of asserting executive privilege. Instead, he told Nadler he would consider a narrowed request if the chairman spells out the legislative purpose and legal support for the information he is seeking.

“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,” Cipollone wrote.

Rachael Bade contributed to this report.

Carol Leonnig is an investigative reporter at The Washington Post, where she has worked since 2000. She won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for her work on security failures and misconduct inside the Secret Service. Follow https://twitter.com/CarolLeonnig

Josh Dawsey is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. He joined the paper in 2017. He previously covered the White House for Politico, and New York City Hall and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the Wall Street Journal. Follow https://twitter.com/jdawsey1

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/no-do-over-on-mueller-probe-white-house-lawyer-tells-house-panel-saying-demands-for-records-staff-testimony-will-be-refused/2019/05/15/1ad19728-7715-11e9-b3f5-5673edf2d127_story.html

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