US House panel issues 81 document requests in Trump obstruction probe

Saul Bowman
March 5, 2019

Among the 81 people and places that have been sent requests: the White House, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, adviser Jared Kushner, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former campaign chair Paul Manafort, Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, Trump Organization Chief Operating Officer Matthew Calamari, Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, Trump Organization General Counsel Alan Garten, Trump executive assistant Rhona Graff, among many others.

"It's very clear - 1,100 times he referred to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt", Nadler said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday. Why should the House investigate Trump for obstruction of justice when Special Counsel Robert Mueller has already been looking into this potential crime for nearly two years?

Democrats in Congress unleashed a slew of demands in their investigations of President Donald Trump on Monday, seeking information about his communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin and documents from 81 sources in an obstruction probe.

In their letter, the Democratic leaders allege that Trump, on multiple occasions, "appears to have taken steps to hide the details of his communications with President Putin from other administration officials, Congress and the American people", noting that Trump reportedly "seized notes" related to at least one meeting held with Putin and "directed" an American interpret "not to discuss the substance of communications" with Putin with other federal officials.

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) later responded on the show, stating, "I think Congressman Nadler chose to impeach the president the day the president won the election". More than five House committees are now investigating alleged Russian Federation meddling efforts in 2016, the president's tax returns and potential conflicts of interest involving Mr Trump's family.

Tax justice groups on Fridaydemandedthat House Democrats use the information revealed in the Cohen hearing to open probes and force the release of Trump's tax returns, which he has refused to make public.

He also issued a tweet announcing the probe.

Among those receiving the requests would be Donald Trump Jr. He emerged empty-handed from a high-profile summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un on denuclearisation and Mr Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in three days of congressional testimony, publicly characterised the president as a "con man" and "cheat". In his testimony, Mr Cohen acknowledged he did not witness or know directly of collusion between Trump aides and Russian Federation but had his "suspicions".

Nadler sent letters Monday to 81 agencies, individuals and other entities related to Trump, including the Trump Organization, the Trump campaign, the Trump Foundation, the presidential inaugural committee, the White House, the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and presidential aides, The New York Times reported.

They say the first step is to initiate proper investigations, which were missing in the first two years of Trump's presidency, when his fellow Republicans controlled the House of Representatives. In it, Mariotti claims that the Russiagate investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller was never about collusion, and that it was "primarily a counterintelligence investigation".

On March 3, Nadler said he already believes Trump obstructed justice.

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