WH Counsel to Rep. Nadler: Congress Has No Right to 'Do-Over' of Mueller's Probe

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | May 15, 2019 | 2:57 PM EDT


A March 15, 2019 letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) says that Nadler committee’s demands for documents “violate the separation of powers” – and, that Congress has no right to pursue a “do-over” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Donald Trump.

Additionally, Cipollone’s letter says harassment of political opponents is not a legitimate function of Congress, Axios reports:

White House counsel Pat Cipollone said that Congress has no right to a "do-over" of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and other investigations undertaken by the Justice Department in a letter sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday.

"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 12-page letter responds to a March 4 request from Nadler demanding additional documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation.

The White House counsel makes four key arguments, each detailed in a separate section:

  1. The Committee’s Requests Unreasonably Target Matters at the Core of Well-Settled Executive Branch Confidential Interests,
  2. The Committee Has No Authority to Inquire into the President’s Discharge of Duties Assigned Exclusively to the Executive by the Constitution,
  3. The Committee’s Efforts to Conduct a Law Enforcement Investigation for the Purpose of Embarrassing, Harassing, or Punishing Political Opponents are Improper,
  4. The Committee’s Sweeping Document Requests, Unmoored from Any Properly Defined Legislative Purpose, Violate the Separation of Powers

Cipollone closes by asking Nadler’s committee to “narrow the scope” of its request and to “articulate the legislative purpose and legal basis supporting each of the remaining requests.”



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