Nadler blasts White House counsel for demanding end to investigation into Trump administration

Nadler blasts White House counsel for demanding end to investigation into Trump administration
© Aaron Schwartz

The head of the House Judiciary Committee is pushing back on the White House's demands that his panel end its sprawling investigation into the Trump administration.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerWatergate figure John Dean earns laughter for responses to GOP lawmakers The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by MAPRx - Nadler gets breakthrough deal with DOJ on Mueller docs The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by MAPRx - Nadler gets breakthrough deal with DOJ on Mueller docs MORE (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone on Thursday blasting the lawyer for failing to fully understand "the gravity" of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's investigative findings.

"As a threshold matter, your failure to comprehend the gravity of the Special Counsel’s findings is astounding and dangerous," Nadler wrote.

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"The Mueller Report found that Russia interfered in our elections and outlined our nation’s acute vulnerability to another attack. The Special Counsel also found that the President engaged in multiple acts to exert undue influence over law enforcement investigations."

The top Democrat wrote that the committee strongly believes the "overwhelming weight of professional
judgment" would favor prosecuting President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE for obstruction of justice as Mueller laid out in his report, if it weren't for the Office of Legal Counsel policy against charging sitting presidents.

Nadler's letter comes a day after Cipollone accused the Judiciary Committee of "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," arguing that “the appropriate course is for the Committee to discontinue the inquiry discussed in the March 4 letter.”

And the Thursday letter is just the latest development in an ongoing battle between the House to investigate the Trump administration and the administration's efforts to block the probes.

Earlier this year, Nadler requested a trove of documents from the White House as part of his committee's probe into allegations of obstruction, public corruption and abuses of power by Trump and members of his inner circle.

Republicans have alleged that the chairman is going too far in trying to investigate Trump because they are upset Mueller did not recommend charging Trump for conspiracy with the Russians or obstruction.

Nadler on Thursday, however, said Mueller's report makes it clear further investigation is warranted, and said that Cipollone's requests place Trump "above the law."

"The Administration’s position that the President cannot be indicted by the Department of Justice, and that Congress cannot investigate him, effectively places the President above the law. That claim, like your demand that the Committee 'discontinue its inquiry,' is inconsistent with the most basic principles underlying our constitutional system of government," Nadler continues.

The chairman also listed a series of his committee's information requests that have yet to receive responses from the administration, including those that relate to the administration's decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act.