Trump Really, Really Doesn’t Want You to Know Why He Wants a Citizenship Question

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

Donald Trump is obviously terrified that anyone might find out why he really wants a citizenship question on the 2020 census:

President Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege to shield documents about the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census….Attorney General William P. Barr had a day earlier warned the House Oversight Committee that if it moved toward holding him in contempt, he would ask Trump to assert privilege to protect the materials….In the Justice Department’s view, the privilege assertion undercuts the contempt finding, because it prevents the attorney general from turning over materials lawmakers had subpoenaed.

This again? Surely this would fail in court, wouldn’t it? Documents are either protected by executive privilege or they aren’t. It’s not a weapon to be used simply to avoid a contempt charge. What am I missing here?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.