Jerry Nadler is calling this a “clear escalation,” but it’s the Democrats who are insistent on having this fight in the first place.
Let’s review how we got here:
Attorney General Barr is not obligated by law to release any part of the Mueller report – not to Congress and not to the public. The fact that he released a lightly redacted, full version of the report was an extraordinary act of openness and transparency.
Democrats know perfectly well that the law prohibits Barr from giving them the full report without redactions. That would violate legal protections concerning grand jury testimony.
This is the very reason Democrats are demanding the full report. They know that Barr cannot comply with their demand. They don’t want him to comply with it. They want him to refuse to comply so they have an excuse to declare him in contempt of Congress. Theoretically they could send the House sergeant-at-arms to arrest him, all because he refuses to break the law.
And remember: Barr has made the redacted portions available for senior members of Congress to come in and view, and not a single Democrat has done so. They don’t want to see the redacted portions. They know there’s nothing in them that’s significant or being covered up. They want to use the redactions as an excuse to scream about a coverup they know doesn’t exist.
So Barr’s request to Trump was the further assertion of the executive branch’s prerogative, which is why he wrote:
“The Committee therefore demands all of the Special Counsel’s investigative files, which consist of millions of pages of classified and unclassified documents bearing upon more than two dozen criminal cases and investigations, many of which are ongoing. These materials include law enforcement information, information about sensitive intelligence sources and methods, and grand-jury information that the Department is prohibited from disclosing by law.”
Here’s what it comes down to: House Democrats are demanding that the attorney general break the law, and are accusing him of breaking the law for his refusal to break the law. They are demanding he expose an extraordinary volume of sensitive information that he is duty-bound to protect, and they are alleging a coverup if he refuses.
This is simply bizarre.
Yet you will now hear a media narrative that Trump is engaging in a coverup by invoking executive privilege, even though he has the legal authority to do so, and this is the very kind of situation executive privilege was created for.
This is the same media that excoriated the House Intelligence Committee last year, when it was under Republican control, for demanding to see the FISA application that was used to gain the wiretap warrant on Carter Page. Then, it was unconscionable that members of Congress would want to see such a document – even though they all had security clearances and there was no law preventing it from being disclosed to them.
Now? It’s a coverup that the Justice Department wants to follow the law, and that the president is invoking his legal authority to ensure that they do.
This may be the dumbest time in the history of this country.
Author: Dan Calabrese
Source: Westernjournal: At Barr’s request, Trump asserts executive privilege over entire Mueller report