Donald Trump asserts executive privilege over Mueller report as House panel considers whether to hold Barr in contempt

President Donald Trump (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – The White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump will assert executive privilege over special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The decision, announced by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, came as the House Judiciary Committee debated whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to provide the entire unredacted report to lawmakers.

“The American people see through Chairman Nadler’s desperate ploy to distract from the President’s historically successful agenda and our booming economy,” Sanders said, referring to Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the committee chairman.

“Neither the White House nor Attorney General Barr will comply with Chairman Nadler’s unlawful and reckless demands,” Sanders said.

Sanders argued that Barr has been “transparent and accommodating,” including by releasing the Mueller report to the public and offering to testify before the committee.

“These attempts to work with the committee have been flatly rejected,” she said. “They didn’t like the results of the report, and now they want a redo.”

“Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the Attorney General’s request, the President has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege.”

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