Trump uses executive privilege to block House access to census documents

Trump uses executive privilege to block House access to census documents

Trump uses executive privilege to block House access to census documents

President Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege to block lawmakers from accessing documents related to his administration's plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday approved of a resolution recommending that Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross be held in contempt for not complying with subpoenas in the committee's census citizenship question probe.

Asked about the issue, Trump told reporters at the White House, "When you have a census and you're not allowed to talk about whether or not somebody's a citizen or not, that doesn't sound so good to me".

At issue on Wednesday was a politically fraught battle over the Oversight Committee's attempts to investigate the Trump administration's decision to ask 2020 census respondents whether they are citizens, an issue that has gone all the wat to the Supreme Court.

The question stands to diminish the political representation and government resources allotted to to more diverse, urban regions of country by discouraging immigrant communities from participating on the census.

The Supreme Court is considering the citizenship question.

The judge's ruling came in a lawsuit filed by a group of states, including NY, and immigrant rights organisations arguing that the inclusion of a citizenship question would frighten immigrants and Latinos into abstaining from participating in the decennial national population count because of fear of immigration enforcement.

"The entire scheme has now imploded and the collusion accusation has been exposed as a hoax", Nunes said of the report and Democrats' claims over the past two years. The census population count is used to allot seats in the House and to guide the distribution of billions of dollars of federal funds.

President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen told a House committee in February that he had briefed Trump Jr. approximately 10 times about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow before the presidential election.

"The president, the Department of Justice, has every right to do that", White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC. As Hot Air's Allahpundit notes, "That's Amash's best hope for a victory - draw more pro-Trump, anti-Amash candidates into the race, hope that the majority of Republican voters splinter among them, and win the nomination with a plurality".

The Justice Department notified the House Oversight Committee that it's withholding documents sought by the panel's chairman because it says they're shielded by executive privilege - the doctrine that permits an administration to hide some of its internal workings.

Cummings disputed the Justice Department's account and said most of the documents turned over to the committee had already been made public.

"This does not appear to be a good faith effort at negotiation", Cummings said at the committee meeting. "Instead, it appears to be another example of the administration's blanket defiance of Congress' constitutionally mandated responsibilities". This begs the question: "what is being hidden?"

The committee voted to hold Barr and Ross in contempt this afternoon. The court is expected to decide te legality of the question within weeks. The justification put forward in the request - that it would enhance DOJ Voting Rights Act enforcement - has been called pretextual by three federal courts, and there is ample evidence the administration had partisan reasons for including the question on the census. Opponents have also argued it's part of a strategy to increase the Republican vote and dismiss undocumented migrants, who tend to vote Democratic.

'We must protect the integrity of the census, ' Cummings said.

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