Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 4-Congress has no right to 'do-over' of Russia probe -White House counsel

Reuters | Updated: 16-05-2019 02:22 IST | Created: 16-05-2019 02:22 IST
UPDATE 4-Congress has no right to 'do-over' of Russia probe -White House counsel
Congress has no right to conduct a "do-over" of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, the White House said in a letter blasting House Democrats' "sweeping" requests for documents as an effort to harass political opponents. The May 15 letter from White House counsel Pat Cipollone to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler says the committee's main probe of President Donald Trump's presidency serves no legitimate legislative purpose.

It was drafted in response to a March 4 request for documents from Nadler, who is running a congressional investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power. "The White House will not participate in the committee's 'investigation' that brushes aside the conclusions of the Department of Justice after a two-year-long effort in favor of political theater pre-ordained to reach a preconceived and false result," said the 12-page letter from Cipollone.

Cipollone's letter was the latest instance of the Trump administration's efforts to impede some 20 congressional investigations into his turbulent presidency, his family and his personal business interests. In an intensifying constitutional clash with political risks for both sides headed into the November 2020 elections, Nadler blasted back, rejecting the White House position as "preposterous."

Nadler, who heads the committee that would handle any impeachment proceedings against Trump, told CNN: "This is the White House claiming that the president is king ... No president, no person in the United States is above the law." In his letter, Cipollone asked House Judiciary to narrow its "sweeping" request and provide a legislative purpose for it, adding that many documents would be entitled to be withheld under the legal doctrine of executive privilege.

DEMOCRATS' DEMANDS The documents requested relate to everything from the contents of Trump's meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin to his communications with former White House counsel Donald McGahn, the firings of former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn and former FBI Director James Comey, and possible pardons for Trump associates who pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from the probe.

Democrats also want a full, unredacted Mueller report, six years of Trump's individual and business tax returns, and explanations for some of the administration's key policy decisions on healthcare and separating migrant families. They have issued subpoenas and Nadler's committee has voted to recommend a contempt of Congress charge against Attorney General William Barr for refusing to give lawmakers the unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that he expects a House tax committee subpoena for Trump's tax returns to end in a court fight, suggesting he will not provide the documents by a Friday deadline. A House Intelligence Committee deadline for its subpoena seeking the unredacted Mueller report and related material arrived on Wednesday and was expected to pass unmet, a congressional source said. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump has sued to block a congressional subpoena for financial records from his accounting firm, while the White House has directed McGahn not to cooperate with a Judiciary Committee subpoena for records. Democrats are now considering contempt resolutions against other top administration officials and plan to vote on them, possibly all at once, and perhaps in June.

"We don't want to do it just individually," said No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer. The administration "cannot be allowed to simply say to the Congress 'we're not going to answer your questions, we're not going to give you documentation,'" he added. Twenty House Democrats, including Nadler, are expected to participate in a public reading of the 448-page redacted Mueller report, beginning at noon (1700 GMT) on Thursday until sometime early on Friday, according to the Washington Post.

The Mueller report described numerous links between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and various Russians. But it found insufficient evidence to establish that the campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Moscow. It also described numerous attempts by Trump to impede Mueller’s probe, but stopped short of declaring that the president committed a crime. (Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Additional reporting by David Morgan, Mark Hosenball, Doina Chiacu and Amanda Becker; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, James Dalgleish and Bill Berkrot)



Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...


Latest News

Cong questions govt’s intent of helping farmers, wants MSP to be 'legally-binding'

Questioning the governments intention of helping farmers, the Congress Tuesday said if they dont get the promised MSP for their produce, Prime Minister Narendra Modis aim of doubling their income by 2022 will remain a pipe dream. Congress l...

Hard for CSOs to partner with govt during pandemic:IIMA survey

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, civil society organisations CSOs have not been able to partner with government productively to help people overcome the difficult times, as per a survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad....

Commuters face tough time due to absence of adequate buses on city roads

With most private buses still off the roads, commuters on Tuesday faced a harrowing time in reaching their workplaces on time as government-run buses could not cope with peak-hour rush. Many private offices and establishments had opened fro...

Filmmakers explore innovative concepts amid lockdown

Artistes of the Bengali film industry are trying to get the best out of their creative side amid the lockdown, with many of them giving shape to innovative concepts and ideas to hook the audience. A short film Grub Ne Bana Di Jodi, with R...

Give Feedback