The political winds are howling in Washington. The Democrats in the House of Representatives led by Representative Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, are forging forward with a contempt citation against President Trump’s Attorney General William Barr. The charge: the failure to turn over to the House Committee a full and unredacted version of the Mueller report, along with the evidentiary record that Mueller compiled. The objective: to breathe new life into the obstruction charge on which Mueller declined to exonerate the President.
In a previous column, I argued that that the obstruction charge against Trump was relatively weak. Following the Nadler offensive, President Trump claimed that executive privilege covered all documents and witness testimony that formed the basis of the Mueller report. This broad claim of executive privilege has brought forth a torrent of protest from the president’s many detractors. For example, Michael Conway, former counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of Richard Nixon in 1974, proclaimed that “Trump’s executive privilege claims over the Mueller report are as preposterous as Nixon’s claims during Watergate.”More