During Attorney General William Barr’s Thursday morning presser on the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report, Barr revealed that President Trump was presented with the opportunity to use executive privilege to withhold the report from the American public.
Trump instead chose to waive the option and allowed the report—the 400-page summary of his two-year-long investigation of alleged collusion to win or influence the 2016 presidential election—to be released to the public.
The Washington Examiner reports:
Barr said that although there were “significant portions” of the report that Trump would have been within his rights to redact since the White House complied with the investigation, he refrained from doing so. The Office of the White House Counsel requested to examine the report — after Barr told lawmakers they would receive a redacted version of the report by April — so they could “advise the President on the potential invocation of privilege.”
“Following that review, the President confirmed that, in the interests of transparency and full disclosure to the American people, he would not assert privilege over the special counsel’s report,” Barr said during the presser. “Accordingly, the public report I am releasing today contains redactions only for the four categories that I previously outlined, and no material has been redacted based on executive privilege.”
This is the first time that Trump’s decision to waive his privilege was revealed to the public.
Republican lawmakers who learned of this immediately contrasted Trump’s openness and transparency with former President Obama’s secrecy, the Washington Examiner also reports.
Top House Republicans praised President Trump for his transparency over special counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlining the findings of the federal Russia investigation.
House Judiciary Committee ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga., and his House Oversight counterpart Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, shared tweets within moments of each other at the conclusion of Attorney General William Barr’s press conference on the release of the redacted report.
They touted how Trump chose not to exert executive privilege over the document set to be released to Congress and the public at around 11 a.m.
Check it out:
“No collusion! No obstruction! Complete cooperation from the President. No executive privilege asserted,” Jordan said in a tweet.
“#TBT –> For context, the Obama Administration asserted executive privilege over email between Eric Holder and his own mother, but @RealDonaldTrump invoked no executive privilege, in unprecedented transparency. The contrast is so clear that even Democrats should see it,” Collins added.