The White House’s stonewalling on the Russia probe, by the numbers

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President Donald Trump may not have built a wall along the southwest border, but he’s been busy at work walling Congress off from the Russia probe.

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) on Wednesday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone seemed to call into question whether Congress has any constitutional authority at all to pursue investigations into Russian election interference and obstruction of justice.

“Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation,” Cipollone wrote, “not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized ‘do-over’ of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice.”

It’s not just the Russia probe that’s been stonewalled: The Trump administration has rejected or delayed at least 101 requests from House Democrats for testimony, documents, or interviews since January, according to a congressional source. They cover a broad range of topics, including immigration policy, allegations of political retaliation by the administration, government waste, and undue political influence by Trump associates at federal agencies.

The Trump administration has stonewalled on 18 requests to appear before House committees, 79 requests to hand over documents, and four requests for interviews, according to the source. In response, Democratic House committee chairs have issued 11 subpoenas, seven of which have Republican support.

Trump has vowed to fight those subpoenas in court, and he has already sued over one subpoena sent to his accounting firm.

“These aren’t, like, impartial people,” the president told reporters of House Democrats last month. “The Democrats are trying to win 2020.”

The House judiciary and intelligence committees are both investigating allegations laid out in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference, potential collusion by the Trump campaign, and whether or not the president obstructed justice.

Mueller did not establish that Trump and his campaign criminally conspired with Russia, but he declined to come to a decision on whether Trump obstructed justice, citing Justice Department policy. Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided there wasn’t sufficient evidence of obstruction, but Democrats in Congress have questioned their conclusions and motives and insisted on seeing the full, unredacted report and the underlying evidence for themselves.

Here are the Russia-related congressional requests for documents, information, or testimony that the Trump administration has fought or ignored.

Request: Preserve documents related to the Russia investigation
To: Central Intelligence Agency, State Department, and Treasury Department
From: House Judiciary Committee
Status: No response from agencies

Request: Information on executive privilege and oversight of Russia probe
To: Former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker
From: House Judiciary Committee
Status: After refusing to answer questions about his private conversations with the White House during public testimony in February, Whitaker met privately with the committee in March.

Request: Unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence
To: Justice Department
From: House and Senate Democratic leadership
Status: The Justice Department offered to make a “less redacted” version of the Mueller report available to Congress, but it has declined to hand over the full report and underlying evidence. Nadler issued a subpoena for the full report on April 19.

Request: Counterintelligence and foreign intelligence material from Russia investigation, including the unredacted report and underlying evidence
To: Justice Department
From: House Intelligence Committee
Status: After alleged stonewalling by the Justice Department, committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) issued a subpoena on May 8, marking the second subpoena from Congress for the full Mueller report.

Request: Documents and information related to the Russia investigation and any potential obstruction of justice
To: 81 people and individuals tied to the probe, including former White House Counsel Don McGahn and Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump
From: House Judiciary Committee
Status: Some private individuals and entities are cooperating with the requests, but the White House has said it will fight them and has instructed McGahn to ignore a subpoena issued by Nadler.

Request: Documents and information related to hush-money payments facilitated by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen
To: White House
From: House Oversight Committee
Status: While the White House has shown some documents to committee staff, according to a congressional source, it has not provided any documents to the committee.

Request: Documents and interviews related to private meetings between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin
To: White House
From: House Oversight Committee, House Intelligence Committee, and House Foreign Affairs Committee
Status: The White House rejected the request outright.


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