WASHINGTON (NBC News) – President Trump on Wednesday invoked executive privilege, refusing to hand over internal White House documents concerning his administration’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The documents had been sought by the House Oversight Committee.
“I think it’s totally ridiculous that we would have a census without asking,” Mr. Trump said to reporters later in the day.
Word of the decision to withhold the documents came as the committee prepared to vote on a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for refusing to cooperate in their investigation of the issue.
Supporters of the census question claim it would help enforce the Voting Rights Act; opponents argue it would cut the response rate in immigrant communties and result in an undercount.