The House Oversight and Reform Committee had subpoenaed the documents. Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly asked the President to claim executive privilege over them if the Committee continued to move toward holding the AG in contempt.
The contempt vote, which is being held today, was described by the DOJ as "unnecessary and premature" in a letter (below) to Chairman Elijah Cummings announcing the claim of executive privilege.
JUST IN: President Trump has asserted executive privilege over subpoenaed documents relating to the House Oversight Cmte.'s investigation into the Trump admin.'s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, according to a letter sent by DOJ to Chairman Cummings. pic.twitter.com/kUQQt12e64
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) June 12, 2019
The administration's goal in adding the citizenship question would be to suppress responses from undocumented immigrants – the census is required to count everyone in the country, not just citizens – and those concerned the federal government might take action against them. Since the census is used to determine how many representatives a state is allowed in Congress, and how federal funds are allocated, accurately counting everyone becomes of primary importance.
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