By Joshua Caplan
The White House said Wednesday that it is rebuffing the House Judiciary Committee’s request to hand over documents regarding topics broadly focused on 2016 Trump presidential campaign figures.
“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,” a letter sent by White House counsel Pat Cipollone reads, according to ABC News.
Democrats launched a sweeping probe of President Trump in March, an aggressive investigation targeting eighty-one individuals and entities requesting records as part of their investigation ”into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration.”
Cipollone wrote that Nadler’s investigation is “duplicative” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into now-debunked collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and requested that the committee seek a more “narrow” scope.
“Congressional investigations are intended 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,” argued the White House general counsel.
Former Trump campaign chief Stephen K. Bannon and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are among several figures and groups that have provided documents or responses to the panel.
President Trump has previously denounced the probe, tweeting that Nadler and other Democrats “have gone stone cold CRAZY. 81 letter sent to innocent people to harass them. They won’t get ANYTHING done for our Country!”
Nadler has said that the document requests, with responses to most that were due by March 18, are a way to “begin building the public record.”
“Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms,” the New York Democrat said upon launching the probe. “Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee.”
In a letter to the White House and State Department, the House intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform panels sent broad requests for details about President Trump and Putin’s private meetings by phone and in person. In addition to document requests, the committees are asking to interview interpreters who sat in on meetings, including a one-on-one session in Helsinki, Finland, last summer.
The State Department pledged to “work cooperatively with the committees.”
The AP contributed to this report.