Nadler Looking at All 'Legal Remedies' to Force White House Compliance

By Susan Jones | May 16, 2019 | 6:41am EDT
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

( - In a May 15 letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said the Trump administration will "resist" the Committee's "overbroad demands" for all documents relating to the Mueller probe.

In response, Nadler told CNN Wednesday night, "We will look at all options to force -- to force the administration to be able to hold the administration accountable, whatever that may take, whatever legal remedies we have, we will use."

The White House letter to Nadler, 12 pages long, read in part:

[I]t appears that the Committee's inquiry is designed, not to further a legitimate legislative purpose, but rather to conduct a pseudo law enforcement investigation on matters that were already the subject of the Special Counsel's long-running investigation and are outside the constitutional authority of the legislative branch. The only purpose for this duplication seems to be harassing and seeking to embarrass political opponents after an exhaustive two-year investigation by the Department of Justice did not reach the conclusion that some members of the Committee apparently would have preferred. That, of course, is not a permissible purpose for demanding confidential information from the Executive.

Cipollone said the Trump White House respects Congress's authority to make "legitimate requests for information to aid it in the task of legislating" and will work with the Committee "to provide the Committee with information it can properly seek."

Cipollone said it would be "helpful" if the Judiciary Committee would "narrow the sweeping scope" of its document requests, "and articulate the legislative purpose and legal support for each of the disparate requests it wishes to pursue, including by addressing each of the legal deficiencies that I raise in this letter."

A grim Rep. Nadler went on CNN Wednesday night to respond:

"Well, my response is that the White House and the Department of Justice is enabling the White House to try to evade all accountability to the American people. They're saying that the president is above the law. That Congress has no right to investigate abuses of power, obstruction of justice or corruption in the administration. And that's just wrong.

"The president is not above the law," Nadler said. "They would make him above the law. The president is not above the law, nor is anybody else in the United States. And we have to have the ability to investigate these things."

Nadler said his committee will use its subpoena power "and any other legal power we have" to bring witnesses, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller and former White House Counsel Don McGahn, before the committee.

Those other powers include contempt citations.

"We are looking at all options to deal with the lawless administration. And everything is being looked at," Nadler said.

That means fines and even jail? asked CNN's Erin Burnett:

"We're looking at the law," Nadler replied. "But we will look at all options to force -- to force the administration to -- to be able to hold the administration accountable, whatever that may take, whatever legal remedies we have, we will use."

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