Mar 24, 2019 - World

Nadler: Executive privilege "cannot be used to hide wrongdoing"

House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that while President Trump may attempt to assert executive privilege in order to stop the Justice Department from releasing evidence from the Mueller investigation, the Supreme Court has established that executive privilege "cannot be used to hide wrongdoing."

CHUCK TODD: “All right. Well, that brings us to this ambiguous phrase, right? "Executive privilege." And I'm just curious. Who gets to decide — who gets to arbitrate this? Is this up to the attorney general?"
NADLER: “Well, no. The president must personally assert executive privilege. And I do not believe it exists here at all because, as we learned from the Nixon tapes case, executive privilege cannot hide — cannot be used to hide wrongdoing. And in that case, the Supreme Court nine to nothing ordered that all the claims of executive privilege be overridden and the tapes be public. So I don’t think that executive — I mean, the president may try to assert it, may try to hide things behind it. But I don't think that's right or [will] be successful.”

The big picture: Nadler appeared on a number of Sunday morning cable talk shows to preemptively discuss how Democrats would approach the release of the Mueller report. He called for the full report and the underlying evidence from the Mueller investigation to be released publicly, claiming that anything less could be considered a "cover-up."

  • Nadler said that if evidence was withheld, Democrats would subpoena Mueller and take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
  • He also added that Mueller had a much more narrow mandate than Congress, and that the investigations of Trump won't necessarily end even if Mueller concludes there was no criminal conspiracy.
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