16:57 GMT24 January 2021
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    The news came as US congressional Democrats were trying to gain access to the full, unedited Special Counsel Robert Mueller report, with the subsequent intent to bring in the author as a witness. The effort was actively blocked by the US Department of Justice.

    The US Department of Justice has announced that President Donald Trump has successfully invoked executive privilege over the full, unedited Mueller report, as well as other documents sought by US congressional Democrats for review. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said that this puts an end to the department's talks with American lawmakers relating to the contents of the Mueller report.

    READ MORE: DoJ May Advise Trump to Invoke Executive Privilege on Unredacted Mueller Report

    House Judiciary Committee chief Jerrold Nadler slammed the US president's decision as "blanket defiance" of Congress' rightful demands and accused the White House of "misapplying the doctrine of executive privilege".

    "Every day we learn of new efforts by this administration to stonewall Congress. This is unprecedented", Nadler said.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to his claims by saying that the president's actions were a response to a "blatant abuse of power" by Nadler and his "unlawful and reckless demands".

    The news was preceded by a stand-off between the Department of Justice and Democrats in Congress, specifically House Judiciary Committee head Jerrold Nadler. The committee sought to see the full Mueller report without omissions instead of a version redacted by Attorney General William Barr, who is facing a contempt vote initiated by Nadler.

    READ MORE: McConnell Tells US Democrats 'Case Closed' on Mueller Report, Time to Move On

    The department agreed to show several congressional leaders a less redacted version of the document; however, the DOJ vehemently opposed releasing the full report and recommended that Barr convince the US president into assuming executive privilege over the report. This authority would allow Trump to veto attempts to release of full, unredacted report.

    The 448-page Mueller report summed up the results of the special counsel's 22-month long investigation into allegations that Trump's team conspired with Moscow to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and that the US president had obstructed justice. Mueller's investigation found no signs of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, something which has been denied by Moscow from the onset, and found no proof of obstruction — but refused to fully exonerate Trump on this point.


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