White House counsel Pat Cipollone, calling on Nadler to "discontinue" his inquiry, argued in a letter that congressional investigations "are meant to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized "do-over" of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice".
"This is the White House claiming that the president is king", Nadler told CNN.
"Congressional investigations are meant to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized "do-over" of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice", Cipollone's letter reads.
Democrats are clashing with the justice department over access to Mueller's full report. He did not rule on whether Trump obstructed justice, although Attorney General William Barr said the report shows that the president did not.
Cipollone also argued in his letter that by requesting so many documents and issuing subpoenas, the committee was overstepping its bounds as a legislative body.
Still, Cipollone said the White House is open to reaching an accommodation with the committee. "As you know, the Committee is not a law enforcement agency".
That outcome led Trump and his allies to declare he was fully exonerated, while opponents say he is badly tainted and should be investigated further. And he vowed to hold in contempt whoever does not comply with said subpoenas.
In the Wednesday letter, Cipollone argued that the request for testimony and records from 81 individuals and agencies is intrusive and seeks to pull back the covers on reams of confidential discussions and sensitive law enforcement material that is normally shielded by executive privilege.
"Under settled law, it is not the Committee's legislative function to conduct a detailed inquiry into a particular event or series of events in order to reconstruct a precise picture of the facts", Cipollone continued.
Cipollone asked the committee to narrow its "sweeping" request and provide a legislative objective, and said many documents would be entitled to be withheld under executive privilege. "The Constitution does not permit Congress to undermine the President in this manner", Cipollone said.
On the heels of the White House accusing Democrats of conducting a "do-over" investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe and refusing to cooperate with congressional demands for information, a top House Democrat blasted the Trump administration for acting like a dictatorship and threatened to issue "very large" fines for those held in contempt of Congress.
'Under the circumstances, the appropriate course is for the Committee to discontinue the inquiry discussed in the March 4 letter.
A spokesman for Nadler did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but earlier on Wednesday, the House Judiciary chairman said "while the courts have held that the president's communications are entitled to some degree of confidentiality, they have consistently held that the privilege is not an absolute shield and can be overcome when the interests of justice require it".