House Judiciary Issues Flood of Requests

News  |  Mar 4, 2019

UPDATE: As expected, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has sent letters to more than 80 people, asking for information relevant to inquiries into the president's and his administration's suspected misconduct.

Politico has the full list of recipients with links to the letters and document requests. 

Washington Post:

“We will act quickly to gather this information, assess the evidence, and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts. That is exactly what we intend to do.”


While extremely broad, Nadler’s inquiry focuses on abuse of power, public corruption and obstruction of justice since Trump became president, though some of the inquiries also deal with the campaign and the presidential transition.

At an event at the White House later Monday with the North Dakota State championship football team, Trump was asked if he plans to cooperate.

“I cooperate all the time with everybody,” he said, adding: “You know the beautiful thing — no collusion. It’s all a hoax.”

Those receiving letters from the House Judiciary Committee include the president’s two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; his former personal secretary Rhona Graff; Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization; and former top White House aides Hope Hicks, Sean Spicer and Stephen K. Bannon.

Other demands for documents are directed to institutions including the White House, the Justice Department, the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team and the Trump Organization.


Recipients have two weeks to comply with the requests. Should they not do so, the Judiciary Committee will subpoena the documents, panel staff members told reporters on a call Monday morning. 


Nadler’s request is significant not only because he is seeking an expansive amount of material but because his committee has jurisdiction over impeachment. Any hearings exploring whether Trump committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” would take place before the panel.

The panel is seeking communications between former White House counsel Donald McGahn and the president relating to Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s fired national security adviser, as well as Flynn’s statements to the FBI about contacts with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to Washington.

Nadler is also seeking to learn about communications regarding Trump’s firing of [James] Comey as FBI director, as well as what occurred at a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York ... 


The documents Nadler requested are a first step in the committee’s effort to explore possible obstruction of justice by the president in connection with Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and whether Trump or anyone close to him coordinated with the Russians during the campaign. 


Though the document demands are sweeping and appear to track over Mueller’s probe, a committee counsel said the panel’s jurisdiction squarely covers obstruction of justice and abuse of power issues ... 


Nadler’s letter to the Justice Department seeks a wide variety of documents that go to the heart of Mueller’s work, even as senior department officials have publicly and privately expressed a reluctance to share those kinds of investigative documents.

The list, which asks for materials concerning possible obstruction of justice by the president, or possible conspiracy between Trump associates and Russian officials, marks the opening salvo of what some expect to be a fight between Congress and the Justice Department over Mueller’s files.

Nadler’s requests include information about some well-known episodes, but also cover some incidents that have received relatively little attention, such as an effort in 2016 by Peter Smith, a now-deceased Chicago-based Republican fundraiser, to reach out to Russian hackers to get copies of Clinton’s deleted emails.

House Democrats demand documents from more than 80 people and institutions affiliated with Trump (WaPo)

These are all the Trump associates targeted in House Judiciary's wide-ranging probe (Politico)

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) says, starting Monday, his committee will aim to collect information pertinent to various investigations into potential misconduct by the president, his family, his business associates, and members of his administration. 

ABC News:

“Tomorrow, we will be issuing document requests to over 60 different people and individuals from the White House to the Department of Justice, Donald Trump, Jr., Allen Weisselberg, to begin the investigations to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power,” Nadler said on “This Week” Sunday.


“Do you think the president obstructed justice?” asked ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“Yes, I do,” Nadler said.


“What we learned from the [Michael] Cohen testimony is that he directly implicated the president in -- in various crimes, both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House,” Nadler said on “This Week.”

“We don’t have the facts yet. But we’re going to initiate proper investigations,” but not impeachment investigations.

“The Republicans spent two years shielding the president from any proper accountability ... [T]hey threatened to impeach people in Justice Department, they threatened the -- the Mueller investigation. It’s our job to protect the rule of law. That’s our core function. And to do that we are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption of -- into corruption and into obstruction of justice,” Nadler said.

Nadler said that there can be crimes that “there can be crimes that are impeachable offenses and impeachable offenses that are not crimes.”

Bloomberg Politics:

Democrats, who won control of the House in November’s midterm elections, are gearing up for investigations and hearings that they say will go beyond whatever Mueller finds in his investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. Democrats say those issues include contacts with Russia and questions about foreign funding for the Trump Organization and the president’s inaugural committee.

Representative Maxine Waters of California, chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, said on MSNBC on Friday that Deutsche Bank is cooperating with her panel regarding its relationship with the president and concerns about “money laundering.” Trump provided an inflated picture of his assets to Deutsche Bank when preparing to make a bid for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, Cohen said in his testimony.


Trump has objected to investigations into his business dealings, and he tweeted on Sunday that he is “an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt.”

But it would be “perilous” for the country if questions about Trump’s finances were ignored, Schiff said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” He cited concerns about the proposed Trump skyscraper development in Moscow that Trump was pursuing during the presidential campaign, and allegations of Russians laundering money through the Trump Organization that are being investigated.

“There are any number of witnesses that can shed light on whether America’s national security is compromised because the president has been pursuing financial interests with the Russians,” Schiff said.

Over 60 Trump-related documents to be requested from WH, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler says (ABC News)

Investigations of Trump Ramp Up Monday With Document Queries (Bloomberg Politics)