White House rejects Congress' demands, says investigations amount to 'unauthorized do-over' of Mueller probe

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By Allan Smith  with NBC News Politics
Image: President Donald Trump leaves the White House on May 14, 2019.
President Donald Trump leaves the White House on May 14, 2019.   -   Copyright  Carlos Barria Reuters

The White House told the House Judiciary Committee in a letter Wednesday that it will not comply with a broad range of the panel's requests and called on it to "discontinue" its inquiry into President Donald Trump.

"Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized 'do-over' of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice," White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote, citing special counsel Robert Mueller's 448-page report on his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump sought to obstruct the investigation.

Cipollone wrote, however, that he was not exerting executive privilege, adding that he would consider more narrow requests from the committee if it can provide the legal support and legislative purpose for such requests.

"The appropriate course is for the Committee to discontinue the inquiry," Cipollone wrote to the panel's chairman, Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. "Unfortunately, it appears that you have already decided to press ahead with a duplicative investigation, including by issuing subpoenas, to replow the same ground the Special Counsel has already covered."

In early March, Nadler requested information from 81 individuals or entities connected to the president as part of a broad investigation into whether Trump abused his power or acted corruptly.