White House lawyers expect an opportunity to review special counsel Robert Mueller’s report before the attorney general submits it to Congress, CNN reported Tuesday, citing multiple unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
CNN’s sources said White House lawyers want an opportunity to assert executive privilege over information in the report that they may say the public doesn’t have a right to know.
If any such assertions of privilege are made, congressional Democrats could challenge them in court. CNN noted that White House attorneys would handle decisions about asserting privilege rather than Trump’s lawyers, because such decisions are made on behalf of the office, not the man.
An unnamed source “close to the White House” told CNN:
“There’s always tension between what looks best politically and what represents the interests of the institution — the office of the presidency … Preserving executive privilege trumps political optics.”
Trump recently defied a 420-0 House of Representatives vote by asserting that not only should Mueller’s report not be made public, but also that “there should be no Mueller report” at all. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blocked a Senate vote on whether the report ought to be made public.
The White House recently hired 17 lawyers, The Washington Post reported in January, to deal with questions of executive privilege in both the Mueller report and House Democrats’ expansive document requests.
Pictured above: White House lawyer Emmet Flood.