“There are rules and norms governing congressional oversight of the executive branch, and the Democrats simply refuse to abide by them,” White House deputy press secretary Steve Groves said in a statement. “Democrats are demanding documents they know they have no legal right to see — including confidential communications between the President and foreign leaders and grand jury information that cannot be disclosed under the law.”
The White House, Groves said, “will not and cannot comply” with what he called “unlawful demands made by increasingly unhinged and politically-motivated Democrats.”
President Donald Trump responded later Sunday to Democrats’ accusations of a constitutional crisis.
He touted the economy, unemployment rates, “lower taxes & regulations,” a “rebuilt” military spending and new judges.
Earlier Sunday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff criticized the President’s move, saying on ABC’s “This Week” that there’s no basis for Trump using executive privilege to keep Democrats from obtaining the full report.
“But here, the Trump administration has decided to say a blanket no; no to any kind of oversight whatsoever, no witnesses, no documents, no nothing, claiming executive privilege over things that it knows there is no basis for,” he said. “There’s no executive privilege over the hundreds of thousands of documents regarding events that took place before Donald Trump was President.”
“You can’t have a privilege — an executive privilege — when you’re not the executive,” Schiff, a California Democrat, said.
In response to the subpoena, Trump Jr., who does not work in the administration, is considering two options: invoking his fifth amendment rights or not appearing at all, a source told CNN last week.
CNN’s Kara Scannell, Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.