Today, the Trump Administration claimed executive privilege for certain documents that House Democrats are looking for in their investigation of the inclusion of the citizenship question on the 2020 census.
The claim mirrors a similar effort by the Obama administration to use executive privilege to withhold documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious from a Republican Congress. The claim launched a battle in the courts that was only settled last month. The Project On Government Oversight objected to the overreach then, and renews that objection now.
Sean Moulton, Senior Policy Analyst at the Project On Government Oversight, stated:
The importance of the accuracy of the census, and the ability of the Congress to conduct oversight and receive answers from subpoenas, cannot be overstated.
The current administration has systematically overstepped the boundaries of executive privilege in order to avoid accountability. Executive privilege is not a “get-out-jail-free card” to be played by Attorney General Barr and Commerce Secretary Ross to sidestep legitimate congressional inquiry.
Just as in the Obama Administration, when Attorney General Holder improperly claimed executive privilege to withhold documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious from a Republican Congress, this overreach is inappropriate.