House committees chairmen seek records on Trump-Putin communications

by Garry Watts March 5, 2019, 0:44
House committees chairmen seek records on Trump-Putin communications

"Tomorrow [Monday], we will be issuing document requests to over 60 different people and individuals from the White House to the Department of Justice", he said.

The aggressive, broad investigation could set the stage for impeachment, although Democratic leaders have pledged to investigate all avenues and review special counsel Robert Mueller's report before taking drastic action.

Nadler is allowing the documents provided to the committee to be restricted to what has already been handed over in those investigations.

The panel is seeking communications between former White House counsel Donald McGahn and the President relating to Michael Flynn, Trump's fired national security adviser, as well as Flynn's statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contacts with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to Washington.

That meeting included Trump Jr., Kushner, Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had "dirt" to offer about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to an email made public.

The committee chief noted that talk of impeachment was too soon, however.

Mr Nadler isn't calling the inquiry an impeachment investigation but said House Democrats, now in the majority, are simply doing "our job to protect the rule of law" after Republicans during the first two years of Trump's term were "shielding the president from any proper accountability". Last year, the administration withheld thousands of documents related to Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who had previously worked in the White House.

The New York Democrat said the full list of individuals and entities would be released Monday, but he mentioned Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg.

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The Judiciary Committee also is looking at whether Trump has used the White House for personal enrichment in violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause.

Nadler also cited what he called Trump's attempts to intimidate witnesses in the investigation.

Counsel for the committee told NBC News that the goal of the requests is to "amass a very large treasure trove of evidence" to guide its investigation.

Nadler said the special counsel and prosecutors in the Southern District of NY, which are probing many of Trump's associates, were aware of the committee's investigation launch.

Nadler previewed the announcement on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, contending it's "very clear" that Trump obstructed justice. He tried to protect [former national security adviser Michael] Flynn from being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees wrote to the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking documents and interviews with personnel about Trump's conversations with Putin.

Trump maintains that his campaign did not collude with Russian Federation and has repeatedly attacked the investigation on Twitter.

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