Not a single Democrat has viewed the minimally redacted Mueller report provided to select members of Congress, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.
“Not a single Democrat has even taken the time to go and look at it,” Sanders told reporters, referring to a version of the report that is much less redacted than the version made public. “They’re asking for information they know they can’t have. The attorney general is actually upholding the law.”
Almost the entire report — 98.5 percent — is available in the version provided to Congress, according to the Department of Justice. The only redacted portions are grand jury information that by law cannot be disclosed, even to Congress.
“Chairman Nadler is asking the attorney general of the United States to break the law and commit a crime by releasing information that he knows he has no legal authority to have,” Sanders said, referring to Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. “It’s truly outrageous and absurd what the chairman is doing and he should be embarrassed by his behavior.”
House Democrats voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress on Wednesday, because he refused to turn over the totally unredacted version of the Mueller report, and additional underlying materials. The White House says that would improperly reveal sensitive information, citing the grand jury information as confidential by law. (RELATED: Don McGahn Gives Democrats The Stiff-Arm, Defies Subpoena For Mueller Records)
The White House said Trump will assert executive privilege to shut down the Democrats’ demands to see the full report and additional materials. He declined to use that privilege to redact any portions of the report, something the White House has played up since its release. The portions that are redacted in the version released to the public are labeled in each case as being left out for one of four reasons: harm to ongoing matter, grand jury material, classified information, and personal privacy.
Nadler has asserted in turn that the White House is bluffing and called that use of executive privilege “utterly without merit.”