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PoliticsBarr will ask Trump to assert executive privilege over materials on added Census question, if lawmakers don’t back off contempt

23:25  11 june  2019
23:25  11 june  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Attorney General William P. Barr will ask President Trump to assert executive privilege to shield documents from the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census if Democratic lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee proceed toward holding Barr in contempt

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Barr will ask Trump to assert executive privilege over materials on added Census question, if lawmakers don’t back off contempt© Tom Brenner/Reuters U.S. Attorney General William Barr speaks at the FBI National Academy Graduation Ceremony in Quantico, Va.

Attorney General William P. Barr will ask President Trump to assert executive privilege over documents from the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census if Democratic lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee proceed toward holding Barr in contempt, the Justice Department revealed in a letter Tuesday.

The revelation came on the eve of an expected Oversight Committee vote to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over documents lawmakers wanted and stopping a witness from testifying without a Justice Department lawyer. Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd wrote that the decision to schedule the vote was “premature,” and accused lawmakers of refusing to negotiate with the department to get at least some of what they wanted.

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Barr would be the first Trump administration official held in contempt by the Democratic-led House. The matter now moves to the full House for a vote But late Tuesday, the Justice Department sent the committee a letter stating that Barr would ask Trump to invoke executive privilege if the contempt

The Justice Department said Wednesday that President Trump is asserting executive privilege over This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2020 FOX News A vote by the full House would be required to hold Barr and Ross in contempt on the census issue.

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“In the face of this threatened contempt vote, the Attorney General is now compelled to request that the President invoke executive privilege with respect to the materials subject to the subpoena to the Attorney General and the subpoena to the Secretary of the Department of Commerce,” Boyd wrote. “I hereby request that the Committee hold the subpoenas in abeyance and delay any vote on whether to recommend a citation of contempt for noncompliance with the subpoenas, pending the President’s determination of this question.”

Boyd added that if the committee rejected the request, the department would “be forced to reevaluate its current production efforts in ongoing matters.”

This post will be updated.

matt.zapotosky@washpost.com

Read More

Fight Over Census Documents Centers on Motive for a Citizenship Question.
The fight between Congress and President Trump over census documents revolves around one crucial issue: discerning the true motive of the Trump administration when it made a historic decision to ask all residents in the country if they were an American citizen. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, has long claimed that the government needs more accurate data on citizenship to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But a growing body of evidence — unearthed in lawsuits seeking to block the question — suggests that the administration added the question to entrench Republicans in power.

usr: 1
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