Somebody wants something to be kept secret.
Courtesy of NYT:
President Trump invoked executive privilege to block access by Congress to documents about how a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census ahead of a House committee vote to recommend that two cabinet secretaries be held in contempt of Congress over the matter.
In a letter to the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the Justice Department said that Mr. Trump had decided to invoke his secrecy powers to provide a lawful basis to defy the panel’s subpoena for the census-related materials.
In response, Mr. Cummings put off until later on Wednesday a vote whether to recommend that the House hold Attorney General William P. Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. in contempt. Mr. Cummings called the move “another example of the administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’ constitutionally mandated responsibilities,” adding that it raised a question: “What is being hidden?”
In its letter, the Justice Department maintained that it already had turned over many materials in response to the subpoena, but that it had to keep certain information confidential to protect the candor of internal and attorney-client deliberations.
It also attached a memo to Mr. Trump from Mr. Barr arguing that the executive branch had a “strong interest” in keeping the materials secret to protect its ability to perform its functions, while Congress had not established that obtaining the information was critical to its “legitimate legislative functions.”
“I have concluded that you may properly assert executive privilege,” Mr. Barr wrote to Mr. Trump.
Gee Trump’s handpicked AG gives him carte blanche to do whatever the hell he wants, what a non-surprise.
AOC pointed out just today why it is so important to get access to these documents.
“I want to know about the racism and the very disturbing history that we’re seeing here.”
— The Hill (@thehill) June 12, 2019
Courtesy of The Hill:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said she wants to know about the “racism” behind the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census during a contempt hearing for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The New York Democrat referenced documents recently made public that allege that a Republican strategist conducted a study in 2015 showing that adding the question would harm Democrats and Hispanic communities, while helping Republicans and white, non-Hispanic communities.
“I want to know why this question was magically added after we have seen that a political operative knew and detailed an intent to intimidate racial and immigrant communities for a partisan purpose, saying this will hurt Democrats and help Republicans,” she said.
“I want to know about the racism and the very disturbing history that we’re seeing here,” she added.
Trump using his powers of executive privilege to keep Congress from accessing these documents is more or less an admission that there is some shady shit behind the decision to add this citizen question to the census.
Not that we don’t already know it is to frighten people into refusing to participate in the census.
It is for obvious political reasons, and that is something the Trump Administration and RNC are desperate to keep secret.