The White House chief advocate told the Judiciary Committee of the House Chairman Wednesday that Congress has no right to "revise" the investigation of President Trump by the Special Envoy and a broad demand for records and statements rejected by dozens of employees of the current and former White House.
Letter from Pat Cipollone, White House Advisor Jerrold Nadler (DN.Y.), Chairman of the Committee, represents a major rejection – not only of Nadler's request for White House documents, but also of the Congress's demand, Trump to investigate possible obstruction of the judiciary. In his letter, Cipollone reiterated an allegation made by the White House and Trump's business: Congress was not a law enforcement agency and had no legitimate purpose to investigate the issues it was pursuing.
But Cipollone remained standing for executive privilege. Instead, he told Nadler that he would consider a restricted request when the chairman outlined the legislative purpose and legal support for the information he sought.
"The Congressional investigation should seek information to help assess potential legislation, not harass political opponents or prosecute an unauthorized revision of the Department of Justice's comprehensive law enforcement investigations," Cipollone said.
Cipollone said the release of Special Envoy Robert S. Mueller III. Now questions the questions of the Congress. He stressed that the investigation was "exhausting" – the product of 2,800 subpoenas, 500 executed search warrants and 500 witness interviews – and that the President supported the full publication of the report "in the interests of transparency".
"The right course is for the committee to stop the investigation," he wrote. "Unfortunately, it seems you have already decided to proceed with a double investigation, including by subpoenaing, to restore the same reason that the Special Representative has already dealt with."
The position of the White House is another escalation in the bitter conflict between the White House and the House Democrats. According to a Washington Post analysis, Trump and his allies are blocking more than 20 separate investigations into his approach as president, his personal finances, and his administration policy.
At the beginning of March, Nadler requested documents from 81 Trump allies or Trump representatives. affiliates in a comprehensive investigation into whether Trump abuses his power, obstructs justice, and engages in public corruption. The letters went to both current and former officials and campaigners, as well as high-ranking Trump officials and Trump's family members.
People associated with the White House who received requests from the committee included former White House attorney Donald McGahn, former Advisor Stephen K Bannon, former communications chief Hope Hicks, and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and current Advisor Jared Kushner Trump's son-in-law.
Joshua Geltzer, a former Justice Department official who now heads constitutional advocacy, said the White House's claim that Congress has no right to information is a "staggering" claim.
"These are not fringe interests of the US Congress," he said. "They are the main task of supervision – the heart of our legislature, which verifies and even understands our executive."
In Wednesday's letter, Cipollone argued that the petition for testimony and records of 81 individuals and authorities was intrusive and sought to cover up countless confidential discussions and sensitive law enforcement material, usually protected by the executive's privilege.
However, the White House only reacts directly to Nadler's letter to the White House. The White House law firm said its appeal was directed to current and former officials whose information they believe are technically owned by the White House officials to disregard while ignoring the legal flaws in their claims.
"[T] The committee hastened to vote on disregard for not requiring 100% and immediate compliance with a subpoena requiring millions of pages of documents from a prosecutor," he wrote. "In addition, the committee has decided – for the first time in American history – to recommend the contempt of the Attorney General for refusing to violate the law by handing over materials to the grand jury, which he may not legitimately laid bare. "  Rachael Bade contributed to this report.