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White House rejects Dem requests for info on Putin communications



In a letter to three Democratic committee chairmen, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said that the courts have long established that presidential communications with foreign leaders are protected and confidential.

"The President must be free to engage in discussions with foreign Leaders without fear that communications will be disclosed and used as part of political objectives, "Cipollone wrote in the letter, obtained by CNN. "And foreign leaders must be assured of this as well."

Three Democrats – House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings – sent to the White House earlier this month Ask for information on communications between Trump and Putin.
The Democrats say they're investigating whether his associates attempted to conceal or misrepresent Trump's contacts with Putin. Schiff, Engel and Cummings are still able to subpoena the translators of Trump's meetings with Putin, following reports that Trump kept his aides in the dark about the meetings and took his interpreter's notes following his 201
7 meeting with Putin in Germany.

Thursday's letter is the latest instance in which the White House has rejected documents requests from House Democrats who are investigating the Trump administration on a whole host of issues.

Cummings wrote in and on this week that his committee had not The White House has been engaged in any documents yet from the White House on any topic his committee is probing, while the White House missed a Monday deadline set by the House Judiciary Committee.

"The White House is engaged in an unprecedented level of stonewalling, delay and obstruction, "Cummings wrote.

In his letter, Cipollone argued that the courts have long respected the executive bran ch's right to conduct foreign policy without interference from the legislative branch

"Presidents from all political parties have determined that the law requires the Executive Branch to provide Congress with documents relating to confidential diplomatic communications between the President and foreign leaders, "he wrote. "No foreign leader would engage in private conversations with the President, or the President's senior advisors, if such conversations were subject to public disclosure (or disclosure to committees of Congress)."

and House Democrats, Cipollone is also the committees for being "unwilling to make reasonable efforts" to meet the executive branch's interests.

"It appears that the practice has been requested by the Committees to have no legal entitlement to receive and then to unfairly criticize the White House for simply adhering to consistent bipartisan past practice in its response, "he wrote.


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