A Top Democrat Just Said Trump Can’t Use Executive Privilege to Block the Mueller Report

“As we learned from the Nixon tapes case, executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing.”

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) argued that the president cannot use executive privilege to withhold the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited Trump-Russia report.

“As we learned from the Nixon tapes case, executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing,” Nadler said. 

The report needs to be made public, he argued. “It’s critical that everything in that report and the underlying evidence be public, be open to the American people. That transparency is key. America needs answers as to what’s been going on.” Nadler also promised to subpoena the Justice Department for the Mueller report, if necessary.

Mueller has concluded his investigation and submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr on Friday. Barr is expected to brief Congress on the findings “as soon as this weekend,” according to a letter he submitted to lawmakers on Friday.

The White House has so far been especially quiet about the Mueller report. Last week, President Donald Trump tweeted that “there should be no Mueller Report,” but on Wednesday changed his tune: “Let it come out, let people see it,” he told reporters.

Although Mueller’s report recommends no further indictments, Nadler also appeared on Fox News Sunday, saying indictments may come out of investigations into Trump in the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of Virginia.

And, regardless of what the Mueller report finds, Nadler pointed out collusion is “in plain sight.”

“We know for example that the president’s son and his campaign manager were present at a meeting with the Russians to receive information which they were told in the invitation was part of the Russian government’s attempt to help them in the election,” he told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday.

“We know that the campaign manager gave targeting data, political targeting data, to an agent over the Russian government. Maybe it’s not indictable but we know there was collusion. The question is to what degree and for what purpose.”


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


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.


Support our journalism

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


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.