Politics: Trump asserts executive privilege to shield documents on Census citizenship question - - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsTrump asserts executive privilege to shield documents on Census citizenship question

18:05  12 june  2019
18:05  12 june  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

House Dems to hold Barr, Ross in contempt over census question

House Dems to hold Barr, Ross in contempt over census question The Oversight Committee wants key documents by Thursday.

The Department of Justice advised President Donald Trump around providing documents related to a citizenship question on the 2020 census . | The Judiciary Committee proceeded with its contempt vote against Barr, prompting Trump to assert executive privilege over the full Mueller report and all

Assertions of executive privilege are often used to shield materials held within the executive branch from production to another branch of government or the general public. The hard-to-define and rarely litigated concept is often justified on the grounds that withholding information from public disclosure

Trump asserts executive privilege to shield documents on Census citizenship question© Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. President Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege to shield documents about the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, a move meant to try to undercut an expected vote by a House panel to hold his attorney general and commerce secretary in contempt for failing to turn over the materials to lawmakers.

Attorney General William P. Barr had a day earlier warned the House Oversight Committee that if it moved toward holding him in contempt, he would ask Trump to assert privilege to protect the materials. The committee, though, rejected his offer, and was preparing to vote Wednesday on a contempt finding when Trump followed through on Barr’s threat.

Judge delays decision in census citizenship case after hearing evidence of GOP scheme

Judge delays decision in census citizenship case after hearing evidence of GOP scheme "There is no smoking gun here, only smoke and mirrors," lawyers for the Justice Department said.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday threatened to ask President Trump to invoke executive privilege over materials lawmakers have subpoenaed on the 2020 census citizenship question .

The Trump administration is threatening to invoke presidential powers to withhold documents on its efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S Boyd said the Justice Department had already given the committee 17,000 pages of documents on the census issue and allowed two Justice

The department revealed the assertion in a letter to the committee, which called the contempt vote “unnecessary and premature.”

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In the Justice Department’s view, the privilege assertion undercuts the contempt finding, because it prevents the attorney general from turning over materials lawmakers had subpoenaed.

But the Oversight Committee is expected to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt anyway. Unless they later work out a deal with the Justice Department, the court system will ultimately decide which documents lawmakers are entitled to see.

Contempt vote likely after DOJ rejects demand for census docs

Contempt vote likely after DOJ rejects demand for census docs The attorney general and commerce secretary didn't comply with a Thursday deadline to turn over documents.

The Justice Department will ask President Trump to invoke executive privilege over census documents if a House committee follows through on its plan The committee wants material related to the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census . Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd

Trump Asserts Executive Privilege Over Mueller Report. The White House hit back on an expected congressional vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in President Donald Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert Mueller's report, which could tie up the full

The Justice Department and the Oversight Committee are essentially on the same trajectory as the department and the House Judiciary Committee were last month, when the Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt for failing to turn over materials related to now-former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe.

In that case, though, the Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department later worked out a deal. That contempt process is in “abeyance,” though Democrats have taken steps to make sure they have the ability to sue the department in court.

The expected contempt vote Wednesday would mark a further escalation in the fight between House Democrats and the Republican administration over the investigatory powers of Congress that is playing out in multiple committees and the courts.

Democrats say the larger issue is that the White House is almost completely rejecting congressional oversight — stonewalling requests for documents and blocking witnesses from testifying on various subjects. The administration, meanwhile, argues that Democrats are requesting far more materials than they should legally have access to in an attempt to embarrass the president, and they have been unwilling to negotiate.

House Democrats claim White House tried to block Kobach interview

House Democrats claim White House tried to block Kobach interview Kobach, the former secretary of state of Kansas, met with the committee on Monday to discuss the Census

to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census if Democratic lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee proceed toward holding Barr in contempt, the Committee vote to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over documents lawmakers wanted and stopping

Barr said he will ask Trump to assert executive privilege to shield documents on the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census if the House Oversight Committee moved ahead Wednesday on holding Barr in contempt.

If the Oversight Committee contempt resolution is approved by the full House, Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) would be empowered to ask a federal court to order Barr and Ross to comply with subpoenas that sought documents related to the 2020 Census decision and testimony from a senior Justice Department official.

Democrats have already gone to federal judges in Washington and New York to seek enforcement of subpoenas targeting Trump’s financial records in the possession of private companies. They have scored initial wins in trial courts, but appeals are likely to play out over the coming months.

The Oversight Committee authorized Cummings in April to issue subpoenas to Barr and Ross for documents related to the Census decision and for a deposition of John Gore, principal deputy assistant attorney general.

But the Justice Department said it would not comply with the subpoena for Gore to testify. In a letter last week to Barr, Cummings cited the attorney general’s “unprecedented order” to Gore to defy the subpoena as part of the reason for the contempt votes.

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

Barr will ask Trump to assert executive privilege over materials on added Census question, if lawmakers don’t back off contempt The Justice Department revealed the move in a letter to the House Oversight Committee.

A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census , a win for critics who say the question is The Trump administration is expected to swiftly appeal the Tuesday ruling from U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York.

a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census , unless House Democrats drop threats to hold two top Trump advisers in contempt of Congress. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is threatening to invoke presidential powers to withhold documents on its efforts to add a citizenship

Democratic lawmakers have accused the Trump administration of stonewalling their efforts to investigate Ross’s March 2018 decision to add the citizenship question, which the government says it needs to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

In a statement last week, the Commerce Department noted that Ross has previously testified before the committee and that the department has turned over nearly 14,000 pages of documents to the panel.

Opponents of the citizenship question have argued that it will suppress responses to the survey among immigrant communities, resulting in an undercount in the areas where they live.

Trump asserts executive privilege to shield documents on Census citizenship question© Yuri Gripas House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, right, and GOP Rep. Jim Jordan are shown at a contempt hearing on June 12, 2019. The population count from the Decennial Census is used to allocate $800 billion a year in federal funding and determine congressional representation and redistricting.

A key issue in the challenges to the citizenship question is how it came to be added. Ross originally told Congress that his decision to add it came solely in response to a December 2017 request from the Justice Department, but lawsuits later produced emails showing that Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, had been pushing for the question for months before that.

The census is a sleeping giant of a potential Trump administration scandal

The census is a sleeping giant of a potential Trump administration scandal This is such inside baseball. But the White House's invocation of executive privilege shows how concerned it is.

2020 Census Citizenship Question A federal judge in New York has issued the first ruling out of multiple lawsuits over a question about U.S. citizenship status. A federal judge in New York has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census .

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeatedly refused to answer senators’ questions on Tuesday about his conversations with President Trump , even though Mr. Trump had not asserted executive privilege to keep them secret.

In March of this year, Democrats on the Oversight Committee grilled him about it extensively, with several asking whether he had lied under oath, and one demanding his resignation.

The committee also met with Gore that month on the matter, but Cummings said he refused to answer more than 150 questions, citing ongoing litigation.

Three federal judges have struck down the Census question, saying Ross’s actions in adding it were in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

The Supreme Court heard the case April 23. Evidence in the case concluded with oral arguments that day, and it appeared that the conservative majority seemed inclined to agree with the government that the decision to add the question was within the authority of the commerce secretary.

Last month, new evidence emerged suggesting that the citizenship question was crafted specifically to give an electoral advantage to Republicans and whites.

The evidence was found in the files of the prominent Republican redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller after his death in August. According to lawyers challenging the question, it reveals that Hofeller “played a significant role in orchestrating the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census to create a structural electoral advantage for, in his own words, ‘Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.’ ”

The lawyers also argued that Trump administration officials purposely obscured Hofeller’s role in court proceedings.

Felicia Sonmez, Mike DeBonis and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.

Read More

The Census: Another Brick in Trump’s White House Wall.
The president is using executive privilege to conceal information the public needs to know.

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