Just minutes before the House Judiciary committee hearing on contempt began, the Justice Department told lawmakers that the President had invoked executive privilege over all the materials that Rep. Jerry Nadler had subpoenaed.
"Just minutes ago, it took that dramatic step," Chairman Nadler said at the beginning of the hearing.
Nadler responded by saying the vote would be moving forward, accusing the Justice Department of a "clear escalation" in its defiance . He urged negotiations to continue despite what he described as a "last-minute outburst."
"The Department's decision reflects President Trump's blanket defiance of Congress's constitutionally mandated duties," Nadler said in a statement.
"In the coming days, I expect that Congress will have no choice but to confront the behavior of this lawless Administration. The Committee will also take a hard look at the officials who are enabling this cover up."
On CNN's "New Day" this morning, Nadler said the United States is in a "constitutional crisis." He added, "We are in one because the President is disobeying the law, is refusing all information to Congress."