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You are here News Politics Trump asserts executive privilege to keep census documents secret as House considers contempt for Barr, Ross

Trump asserts executive privilege to keep census documents secret as House considers contempt for Barr, Ross

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Trump asserts exec privilege over census docsPresident Donald Trump asserted executive privilege Wednesday to keep secret documents related to adding a citizenship question to the census, as a House panel debated holding two cabinet members in contempt for defying subpoenas for the documents.

In a further escalation of conflicts between Congress and the administration, the Oversight and Reform Committee scheduled votes against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for defying subpoenas for documents about how a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census. The Judiciary Committee already found Barr in contempt for defying a subpoena for the full report from former special counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Constitution calls for the census to count everyone in the country every decade. The administration's decision to ask people whether they are citizens in 2020 has been contentious because of Democratic concerns it could discourage participation. Republicans said the census included a citizenship question from 1820 to 1950, along with appearing on more detailed questionnaires in more recent decades.

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