President Trump asserted executive privilege over the Mueller report and its underlying evidence on Wednesday in order to prevent Democratic lawmakers from obtaining an unredacted version, according to Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd in a letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler.
"We are disappointed that you have rejected the Department of Justice’s request to delay the vote of the Committee on the Judiciary on a contempt finding against the Attorney General this morning," wrote Boyd. "Accordingly, this is to advise you that the President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials."
The panel is voting on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress over his refusal to provide the unredacted report, which Nadler has called a "constitution crisis."
NOW: Per new DOJ letter, Trump has asserted executive privilege over all of the documents that the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed from AG Bill Barr re: Mueller's unredacted report and underlying evidence/records pic.twitter.com/zBauWgI9sU— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) May 8, 2019
The assertion of executive privilege is Trump's first use of secrecy powers as president, according to the New York Times, which follows a Tuesday evening letter from the Justice Department to Nadler notifying him that they would advise Trump to protect the report.
NEWS: DOJ says it will advise Trump to invoke executive privilege to block compliance with the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena pic.twitter.com/uvIWDenwhS— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) May 8, 2019
"Such unreasonable demands, together with the Committee's precipitous threat to hold the Attorney General in contempt, are a transparent attempt to short-circuit the constitutionally mandated accommodation process and provoke an unnecessary conflict between our respective branches of government," reads the letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd.
"If the Committee decides to proceed in spite of this request ... the Attorney General will advise the President to make a protective assertion of executive privilege over the subpoenaed material," the letter adds.
In response to the letter, Nadler said "The White House waived these privileges long ago, and the Department seemed open to sharing these materials with us earlier today. The Department’s legal arguments are without credibility, merit, or legal or factual basis."
Nadler: “The White House waived these privileges long ago, and the Department seemed open to sharing these materials with us earlier today. The Department’s legal arguments are without credibility, merit, or legal or factual basis.” pic.twitter.com/GawQUieCrv— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) May 8, 2019
On Wednesday Trump quoted Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt, tweeting:
“Everyone wants to know who needs to be accountable, because it took up two years of our lives talking about this Russian involvement. It proved No Collusion, & people want to trace it back to see how this all happened?” @ainsleyearhardt @foxandfriends TREASONOUS HOAX!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019