The White House on Thursday rejected congressional Democrats’ demands for documents relating to President Donald Trump’s private discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin — escalating tensions between the Trump administration and Congress over a crucial piece of Democrats’ oversight ambitions.
“The committees’ letters cite no legal authority for the proposition that another branch of the government can force the president to disclose diplomatic communications with foreign leaders or that supports forcing disclosure of the confidential internal deliberations of the president’s national security advisors,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote.
The Hill reports:
The Democrats’ request followed a January Washington Post report that Trump had sought to keep details of his communications with Putin secret, including at one point taking the notes of an interpreter present for his conversation with Putin on the sidelines of the 2017 G-20 meeting in Hamburg.
Trump later dismissed the report as “ridiculous” in an interview with Fox News.
“These allegations raise profound counterintelligence and foreign policy concerns, especially in light of Russia’s ongoing active measures campaign to improperly influence American elections,” the Democrats wrote in a March 4 letter to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney laying out their document request.
NEWS: The White House has REJECTED House Dems’ demand for documents related to Trump’s private conversations with Vladimir Putin.
WH Counsel Pat Cipollone just informed Schiff/Engel/Cummings in new letter obtained by Politico.https://t.co/Vz65qJdkWg
— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) March 21, 2019