Email Trail On Citizenship Question Is Longer Than Trump Officials Said

President Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Months after the end of the legal battle over the now-blocked citizenship question, the trail of emails and internal memos about the Trump administration’s push to include the question on the 2020 census is getting longer.

That revelation came almost two weeks after previously undisclosed emails from 2017 confirmed that a then-adviser to the administration, Mark Neuman, had direct communication with Thomas Hofeller, a prominent GOP redistricting strategist who had concluded adding a citizenship question to census forms would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”

On top of these developments, the federal lawsuit by the House oversight committee, led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney — a Democrat from New York — is the latest effort to force U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the census, to release unredacted copies of previously released documents about the citizenship question.

The administration has claimed various privileges, including executive privilege, to fend off the committee’s subpoenas.

Still, the administration continues to face allegations of withholding evidence and providing misleading or false testimony in sanctions proceedings requested by challengers of the citizenship question represented by the ACLU, New York Civil Liberties Union and the law firm Arnold & Porter.

While this fight over documents continues, the administration continues to move forward with its alternative to the citizenship question — compiling government records on citizenship to produce data that Hofeller said would politically benefit Republicans when voting districts are redrawn after the census.

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