Trump shields census documents from Congress as contempt vote looms


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump asserted executive privilege on Wednesday to keep under wraps documents on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census, defying a House panel’s subpoena in another move to stonewall Democratic lawmakers’ investigations.

Despite Trump’s assertion of the legal doctrine, the House of Representatives Oversight Committee pressed ahead at a meeting with plans to vote on holding two members of Trump’s Cabinet – Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr – in contempt of Congress over the census matter.

Asked about the issue, Trump told reporters at the White House: “When you have a census and you’re not allowed to talk about whether or not somebody’s a citizen or not, that doesn’t sound so good to me. … It’s totally ridiculous that we would have a census without asking.”

Democrats said during the committee meeting that the census issue deserved closer scrutiny.

“Is it really about…

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