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DOJ threatens House Dems with executive privilege over Census documents

Bill Barr
Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Department of Justice has informed the House Oversight Committee that it will advise President Trump to assert executive privilege over subpoenaed documents if the panel votes to hold Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for refusing to turn over materials related to the Census citizenship question.

Context: Ross and Barr have declined to cooperate with subpoenas requesting documents about the Trump administration's addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, which critics say could scare non-citizens into lying or refusing to fill out the survey. This could have major implications for federal funding and redistricting, prompting claims that the move was politically motivated.

  • The Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether the question is constitutional by the end of June.

Read the DOJ's letter:

Go deeper: Census could be worst undercount of black and Latinx people since 1990