President Donald Trump asserted executive privilege over the entire report issued by special counsel Robert Mueller along with the underlying evidence according to a letter sent by the Justice Department to the House Judiciary Chairman, Wednesday morning. The move comes ahead of a vote by the committee to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after he failed to provide an unredacted version of Mueller's report to Congress.
The White House said Wednesday that after being faced with a "blatant abuse of power" by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Trump had no choice but to "make a protective assertion of executive privilege."
In the letter sent by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd to Nadler, Boyd says the move allows Trump to make a final decision over the materials within the report.
"Accordingly, this is to advise you that the President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials ... this protective assertion of executive privilege ensures the President's ability to make a final decision whether to assert privilege following a full review of these materials," the letter states."
Nadler called the letter from the Justice Department a "clear escalation" between the White House and Congressional oversight and urged that negotiations continue between the Justice Department and Congress for Barr to testify.
"In the coming days, I expect that Congress will have no choice but to confront the behavior of this lawless Administration," Nadler said. "The Committee will also take a hard look at the officials who are enabling this cover up."
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