DOJ: Barr “could not comply with” the subpoena “in its current form without violating the law, court rules, and court orders…”
President Donald Trump asserted executive privilege over the unredacted report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The move came after the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt “for failing to comply with a subpoena for the full report and its underlying materials.”
White House Statement
Statement on Executive Privilege pic.twitter.com/6ujCZDnMC0
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 8, 2019
In a statement tweeted by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House stated that Americans “see through Chairman [Jerry] Nadler’s desperate ploy to distract from the President’s historically successful agenda and our booming economy.”
The White House noted that Barr “has been transparent and accommodating throughout this process, including by releasing the no-collusion, no-conspiracy, no-obstruction Mueller Report to the public and offering to testify before the Committee.”
The statement goes on to say that Americans “deserve a Congress that is focused on solving real problems.”
Actually, I don’t mind the Democrats going after Trump. They won’t get anywhere and it keeps them from legislating more big and bloated government over us!
DOJ Notifies Nadler
JUST IN: As the House Judiciary Committee begins a hearing to hold Barr in contempt, Trump asserts executive privilege.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 8, 2019
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to Nadler informing him of the executive privilege.
Boyd pointed out that Barr “could not comply with” the subpoena sent by Nadler “in its current form without violating the law, court rules, and court orders, and without threatening the independence of the Department of Justice’s prosecutorial functions.”
Like the White House, Boyd reminded Nadler that Barr and the DOJ have accommodated the committee and Congress as much as they could. But instead of working with them, Nadler “scheduled an unnecessary contempt vote, which” he “refused to postpone to allow additional time for compromise.”
Why the Redactions?
You know what I find precious? The hypocrisy. Democrats insisted failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton needed redactions for the sake of national security. Republicans complained. Now it’s flip-flopped.
Barr said before he released the report that it has four types of redactions:
- Grand jury information
- Classified information
- Information related to ongoing investigations
- Information that would infringe on the privacy of “peripheral third parties.”
In April, Barr testified in front of the House Appropriations Committee that a court ruling forced Barr’s hand to redact grand jury information. Andrew McCarthy detailed the case at Fox News:
I flagged this case, now called McKeever v. Barr (formerly McKeever v. Sessions), last week. It did not arise out of the Mueller investigation, but it obviously has significant ramifications for the Mueller report — in particular, how much of it we will get to see.
At issue was this question: Does a federal court have the authority to order disclosure of grand jury materials if the judge decides that the interests of justice warrant doing so; or is the judge limited to the exceptions to grand jury secrecy that are spelled out in Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure?
The D.C. Circuit’s McKeever ruling holds that the text of Rule 6(e) controls. Consequently, judges have no authority to authorize disclosure outside the rule.
“Rule 6(e) does not contain an exception to secrecy that would permit disclosure to Congress,” so Congress may demand an unredacted version, but this ruling means they have no entitlements to it.
The team started to review of the “FISA process as it relates to the Trump/Russia investigation.” Michael Tracy reminded everyone that officials used the Christopher Dossier to obtain a warrant on Carter Page.
Barr stated the team will finish this review in May or June.
Robert Ray, the man “who succeeded Ken Starr as head of the independent counsel investigation into former President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s,” told PBS that the redactions for ongoing cases could come out in the future once those investigations close.
The DOJ also has a long-standing “precedent to not release damaging information about uncharged individuals because they cannot defend themselves in court.” Ray said that the DOJ “speaks through indictment. If it decides not to charge something, it says nothing.”
Barr did not apply redactions to the report for fun or protection. The Democrats forget that Mueller’s team helped with redactions. In other words, Mueller and his team did not fight the redactions. They knew it had to happen for legitimate reasons.DONATE
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