House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) at the Cannon House Office Building on March 6. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Regarding The Post’s May 8 editorial “Team Trump is in contempt of Congress”:

The editorial blamed the Trump administration for the conflict between it and congressional Democrats, and castigated Attorney General William P. Barr for refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for questioning by staff attorneys. The editorial also took Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to task for refusing to disclose President Trump’s tax returns. One would think the editorial would have mentioned the privacy concerns inherent in a statute that arguably permits the House Ways and Means Committee to request anyone’s tax return for any reason. Further, a congressional request must have a legitimate legislative purpose — exposure for exposure’s sake doesn’t count.

Finally, the editorial said the unredacted Mueller report must be provided upon a congressional committee’s request. But grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret. Further, presidents have long asserted executive privilege, starting with George Washington. Precisely because the executive and Congress are equal branches, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has previously directed the branches to make a good-faith effort to work things out. And that takes both branches.

Erin Hawley, Washington

The writer is a legal fellow
at Independent Women’s Forum.