US House panel launches new probe into Trump White House, campaign, businesses

Minnie Murray
March 5, 2019

Also on the committee's list are others who worked on Trump's 2016 campaign or in the White House such as Hope Hicks, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer; Rhona Graff, a long-time executive assistant at the Trump Organization; and David Pecker, chief executive of American Media, which publishes the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer.

"Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee", he said.

Over the weekend, Nadler said on ABC's "This Week" that he'd be launching an investigation and that he believes the president has obstructed justice.

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, is flanked by his attorneys Lanny Davis (L) and Mike Monico (R) as he testifies before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 27, 2019.

Three US House of Representatives committees asked the White House and State Department on Monday for details on President Donald Trump's talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking to interview translators and other staff involved in their conversations. The House intelligence panel has announced a separate probe not only into the Russian interference but also Trump's foreign financial interests.

Asked if Ivanka Trump could conceivably be on the next list of people from whom information is sought, the Democratic lawmaker told CNN: "Conceivably certainly, I can't say".

Mr. Nadler said the onslaught was necessary because Republicans, who had controlled the House until this year, let so much of the president's conduct go unchecked.

The information gathered by the Judiciary Committee, along with that in the yet-to-be-released report by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump campaign links to Russian Federation and obstruction allegations, could form the basis of impeachment proceedings against Trump. "This guy at least, and most people on the Democratic side, are going to switch the thing and say, well, 'Oh [Mueller] can't prove collusion, but that was never the point'".

Among the committee's aims is determining whether Trump obstructed justice by ousting perceived enemies at the Justice Department, such as former FBI Director James Comey, and abused his presidential power by possibly offering pardons or tampering with witnesses. They include former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump adviser Roger Stone, and former lawyer Michael Cohen.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has launched multiple investigations.

The White House said its lawyers and "relevant White House officials" would review the Judiciary Committee's demand for documents and "respond at the appropriate time".

Mueller is investigating Russian intervention in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign conspired with Russia.

He said House Democrats, now in the majority, are doing "our job to protect the rule of law" after Republicans during the first two years of Mr Trump's term were "shielding the president from any proper accountability".

"We're far from making decisions" about impeachment, he said.

House Democrats took a major step in that direction Monday. As of this writing, there is no record of the president's face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years, even in classified files, US officials said according to the Washington Post.

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