ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday condemned the letter sent from the White House on Wednesday to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler 'as a joke' after the White House, in the letter, said Congress has no right to conduct a "do-over" of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.
The White House also blasted the House Democrats' "sweeping" requests for documents as an effort to harass political opponents.
The May 15 letter from White House counsel Pat Cipollone to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler says the committee's main probe of President Donald Trump's presidency serves no legitimate legislative purpose.
It was drafted in response to a March 4 request for documents from Nadler, who is running a congressional investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power.
"The White House will not participate in the committee's 'investigation' that brushes aside the conclusions of the Department of Justice after a two-year-long effort in favor of political theater pre-ordained to reach a preconceived and false result," said the 12-page letter from Cipollone.
Cipollone's letter was the latest instance of the Trump administration's efforts to impede some 20 congressional investigations into his turbulent presidency, his family and his personal business interests.
In an intensifying constitutional clash with political risks for both sides headed into the November 2020 elections, Nadler blasted back, rejecting the White House position as "preposterous." Nadler, who heads the committee that would handle any impeachment proceedings against Trump, told CNN: "This is the White House claiming that the president is king ... No president, no person in the United States is above the law." In his letter, Cipollone asked House Judiciary to narrow its "sweeping" request and provide a legislative purpose for it, adding that many documents would be entitled to be withheld under the legal doctrine of executive privilege.