‘No do-overs’: White House will not cooperate with further Trump investigations

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 16, 2019

On the heels of the White House accusing Democrats of conducting a "do-over" investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe and refusing to cooperate with congressional demands for information, a top House Democrat blasted the Trump administration for acting like a dictatorship and threatened to issue "very large" fines for those held in contempt of Congress.

Congress has no right to conduct a "do-over" of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian Federation interference in the 2016 USA election, the White House has said, in a letter blasting House Democrats' "sweeping" requests for documents as an effort to harass political opponents.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports there are now 29 separate federal, state, and congressional investigations into Trump.

Cipollone offered what has become a new favoured talking point among Trump's allies: that Congress is a legislative, not law enforcement, body and does not have a right to pursue most investigations.

"Congressional investigations are meant 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 said in his 12-page letter to Nadler.

He did say that the White House would continue to work with the committee if it narrowed the scope of its request, and articulated "the legislative goal and legal basis supporting each of the remaining requests".

"Of course we will totally reject it", Nadler said.

But Cipollone stopped short of asserting executive privilege. The White House Counsel's Office said its objection applies to current and former officials whose information it argues is technically the property of the White House.

Mueller did not conclude that the Trump campaign conspired with Russian Federation. Attorney General William Barr and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined that Mr. Trump did not obstruct justice, but Democrats believe that Mueller kicked the issue to Congress to decide.

"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", Cipollone's 12-page letter said.

"Unfortunately, it appears that you have already made a decision to press ahead with a duplicative investigation, including by issuing subpoenas, to replow the same ground the Special Counsel has already covered", said Cipollone. And he vowed to hold in contempt whoever does not comply with said subpoenas. The deadline for the Justice Department to comply was Wednesday.

Judiciary panel voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress after he defied the committee's subpoena for the unredacted report.

The exterior of the White House, in Washington is pictured in this undated stock photo.

Democrats, while debating whether to proceed down a path toward impeachment, have ratcheted up their probes.

The letter was drafted in response to Nadler's March 4 request for documents from the White House for a congressional investigation of allegations of obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power.

In a call with reporters shortly after the letter was released, a senior White House official complained that Nadler simply wants to put in a "show trial".

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