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

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

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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?

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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