Congressional Democrats are not likely to get the documents pertaining to President Donald Trump’s communications with his Russian counterpart any time soon as the White House rejected their latest request in a letter.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone said in the letter that presidential communications with foreign leaders are protected and confidential, as established by the courts.
“The President must be free to engage in discussions with foreign leaders without fear that those communications will be disclosed and used as fodder for partisan political purposes. And foreign leaders must be assured of this as well,” Cipollone wrote in the letter, according to CNN.
Earlier this month, three House Democratic chairmen sent a letter to the White House requesting information on President Trump’s communications with Vladimir Putin.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings said they were looking into whether Trump or any of his associates tried to hide or misrepresent the nature of the President’s contacts with Putin.
The three Democrats have not yet decided whether to subpoena the translators of Trump’s 2017 meeting with Putin, following reports that his discussions with the Russian president were not shared with aides and the interpreter’s notes were taken away after the encounter.
Congressional Democrats have made numerous documents requests to the White House, many of which were likewise rejected. The chairmen said the latest letter demonstrates the administration’s pattern “of rejecting legitimate and necessary congressional oversight with no regard for precedent or the constitution.”
In an op-ed published this week, Cummings said the White House has not yet provided any documents requested by his committee. It also missed a Monday deadline set by the House Judiciary Committee to respond to a document request for their probe.
“The White House is engaged in an unprecedented level of stonewalling, delay and obstruction,” Cummings wrote in his piece.