“We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption and into obstruction of justice.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced Sunday that Democrats will request documents from 60 Trump associates, in what could be a step toward impeaching President Donald Trump.
Among those who will be getting the requests are the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and the chief financial officer of his Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg.
“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 told host George Stephanopoulos in an interview with “ABC’s This Week.”
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“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 and into obstruction of justice.”
The announcement comes on the heels of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday.
“What we learned from the 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
Many have speculated that the investigation could be the first step in impeachment proceedings. A number of Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have said they are ready to vote for in favor of removing Trump from office.
Nadler insisted that talk was premature, and Ocasio-Cortez clarified Monday that she would defer to party leadership on the matter.
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“We do not now have the evidence all sorted out and everything to do an impeachment,” Nadler, a veteran New York Democrat said. “Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen.”
But Nadler also said that he was convinced that Trump had obstructed justice, the same charge brought by Congress against Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton following Independent Counsel investigations into both.
The White House announced Monday that it received the request for documents.
“The House Judiciary Committee’s letter has been received by the White House,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “The Counsel’s Office and relevant White House officials will review it and respond at the appropriate time.”
In a statement later Monday, Sanders denounced the investigation.
“Today, Chairman Nadler opened up a disgraceful and abusive investigation into tired, false allegations already investigated by the Special Counsel and committees in both Chambers of Congress,” the White House spokeswoman said. “Chairman Nadler and his fellow Democrats have embarked on this fishing expedition because they are terrified that their two-year false narrative of ‘Russia collusion’ is crumbling.”
Sanders went on to accuse Democrats of trying to distract from their radical agenda.
“Their intimidation and abuse of American citizens is shameful. Democrats are harassing the President to distract from their radical agenda of making America a socialist country, killing babies after they’re born, and pushing a ‘green new deal’ that would destroy jobs and bankrupt America. The American people deserve a Congress that works with the President to address serious issues like immigration, healthcare, and infrastructure. The Democrats are more interested in pathetic political games and catering to a radical, leftist base than on producing results for our citizens. The Democrats are not after the truth, they are after the President.”
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