REPORT: Justice throws executive privilege threat into census battle

JUNE 11, 2019

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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.

In a letter sent to House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote that the administration should take that step if the House Oversight and Reform Committee votes Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt.

The article goes on to state the following:

Boyd wrote that in “the face of this threatened contempt vote, the Attorney General is now compelled to request that the president invoke executive privilege” over the materials the panel had subpoenaed from DOJ and the Commerce Department.“This request is not itself an assertion of executive privilege,” Boyd wrote in the letter.

If the committee goes forward with the vote as scheduled on Wednesday, “the Department will be obliged to advise that the President assert executive privilege with respect to certain of the subpoenaed documents, and to make a protective assertion of executive privilege over the remainder of the documents, which undoubtedly include material covered by executive privilege, while the Department continues to review them.”

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