The Dems Are About to Step Up Their Offensive Against Trump and Co.

Illustration for article titled The Dems Are About to Step Up Their Offensive Against Trump and Co.em/em
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Donald Trump may think he has had a terrible week, but it’s about to get even worse.


Trump and those connected to him already are being investigated by no fewer than six committees in the House. The chair of one of those committees, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who heads the House Judiciary Committee, said on Sunday that he will seek documents from over 60 people and organizations linked to Trump.

“We are starting this investigation 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., [and] Allen Weisselberg, to begin investigations to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power,” Nadler said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.


Nadler told host George Stephanopoulos that he believes Trump has committed obstruction of justice. “It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,” he said, adding that Trump has “intimidated witnesses in public,” among other actions.

Earlier in the interview, Nadler said lawmakers had learned from the appearance this week by Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, that Cohen “directly implicated the president in various crimes, both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House.”

Nevertheless, he said that impeachment “is a long way down the road.”


Earlier this week, Democratic House Intelligence Committee member Eric Swalwell told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that he is “convinced that there is at least one indictment waiting for President Trump.” The House Intelligence Committee is reopening its investigation into Russia’s attack on the 2016 U.S. election. But the committee, now under Democratic chairman Adam Schiff, also will investigate Trump’s foreign financial interests, the Associated Press reported.

Schiff said the committee wants to know if any foreign actors have leverage over Trump, his family, or his associates. Committee members already have held one closed-door interview with Cohen last Thursday, and plan to hold another on Wednesday.


Appearing Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation, Schiff said lawmakers would seek to talk to Deutsche Bank, which has a history of laundering Russian money, along with Trump Organization accountants and CFO Allen Weisselberg, longtime Trump business associate Felix Sater, and other witnesses.

Schiff added, “We are certainly looking deep into the set of issues around Moscow Trump Tower. We’re also looking at persistent allegations that the Russians have been laundering money through the Trump Organization. I don’t know that that’s true, but if it is, again, it’s a profound compromise of this president.”


Democrats also have given the White House until Monday to turn over documents to Congress related to how top administration officials were given security clearances, including Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. On Friday, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings sent a letter to the White House demanding documents and interviews regarding how the White House conducted its security clearance process.


Cummings noted that the committee had launched an investigation into the matter on Jan. 23.

“However, over the past five weeks, the White House has stalled, equivocated, and failed to produce a single document or witness to the Committee,” Cummings wrote.


The chairman noted that just eight days after the committee began its investigation, “President Trump may have falsely claimed that he played no role in the security clearance process.”

Last Thursday, The New York Times reported that Trump ordered his former chief of staff, John Kelly, to issue Kushner a top secret security clearance despite objections by then White House counsel Don McGahn and the CIA, among others.


“The full scope of intelligence officials’ concerns about Mr. Kushner is not known. But the clearance had been held up in part over questions from the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. about his foreign and business contacts, including those related to Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the events,” the Times reported.

In early February—well after the House Oversight Committee began its investigation—Ivanka Trump also denied that her dad was involved in the decision to grant Kushner—her husband—a top security clearance.


Appearing on ABC’s The View, Ivanka Trump said, “The president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband’s clearance.” She also claimed “there weren’t any” problems obtaining the clearances, despite a background check on Kushner that dragged on for over a year, particularly due to Kushner’s numerous misstatements and corrections on his application.


In the House Ways and Means Committee, chairman Richard Neal is expected to seek Trump’s long-hidden tax returns, although that process could end up in a court battle, the AP reported.

The House Financial Services Committee, led by Rep. Maxine Waters, also is investigating Trump’s ties to Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Rep. Eliot Engel, is looking into Trump’s private meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, and his administration’s behavior in the aftermath of the killing and dismemberment of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi, according to the AP.


So, buckle up, it’s going to be a crazy ride over the next few weeks and months, and that’s before a date for the release of the much-anticipated Mueller report has been announced.

Weekend Editor, Splinter

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