The letter might as well have just read: “No.”
The Washington Post reports White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone has sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) refusing any and all requests for documents, and refusing refusing any and all testimony of current and even former White House aides.
Cipollone also repeated the White House’s flawed argument that Congress does not have the authority to perform investigative oversight of the White House, a claim it made broadly on Tuesday in court. That claim was roundly debunked and mocked by legal experts, some of whom cite House Republicans’ own lawsuits that have set precedent for Democrats’ inquiries.
“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,” Cipollone’s letter reads.
He is incorrect.
The House has constitutional authority and duty to provide oversight of executive branch actions and policies, whether or not they are related to specific legislation.
“Cipollone said the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report now makes Congress’s questions moot,” The Post adds, noting “Trump and his allies are working to block more than 20 separate investigations into his actions as president, his personal finances and his administration’s policies, according to a Washington Post analysis.”
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports there are currently 29 separate federal, state, and congressional investigations into Trump.