Washington: The House Judiciary Committee launched a broad investigation into President Donald Trump’s inner circle Monday, targeting figures who have worked in his administration and for the Trump Organization businesses.
The committee told reporters Monday that the investigation will focus on three primary issues: whether the president obstructed justice by interfering with criminal investigations; potential corruption such as violation of campaign and financial reporting laws, as well as possible misuse of office for personal gain; and abuses of power to include misuse of the pardon power and attacks on the press, judiciary and law enforcement agencies.
The subjects of Monday’s document requests include both longtime Trump allies and those in the broader universe of individuals and entities linked to Trump, his administration and his business dealings.
The panel has demanded documents from 81 individuals, entities and federal agencies, and given them a deadline of March 18 — just two weeks.
A committee counsel said that if document production negotiations with any particular subject were not fruitful, subpoenas could be issued within weeks of that deadline. The subpoenas could be issued if the House Judiciary Committee takes a vote to authorize them.
The document demands follow last week’s dramatic testimony in the House Oversight Committee, in which former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen repeatedly named figures in Trump business circles, and accused them of being involved in various scandals.
Many of those figures linked to the Trump Organization were named on Monday’s list of document requests, including Trump Organization Executive Vice President Donald Trump, Jr, Chief Operating Officer Matthew Calamari, Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, General Counsel Alan Garten and longtime Trump executive assistant Rhona Graff.
But the panel also demanded documents from other figures unrelated to the Trump Organization — an indication on the broad scope of the Judiciary committee’s investigation.
The panel is seeking documents from entities as diverse as Cambridge Analytica, WikiLeaks, the Trump Foundation, the Justice Department. the White House and the National Rifle Association. The full list is below.
“Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said. “Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee… We have sent these document requests in order to begin building the public record.”
House Democrats have made investigations of the president a priority since they won control of the chamber in November. In particular, Democrats are focused on investigations of the president’s finances, the potential for the president to have obstructed justice, and whether his campaign had any involvement in Russian campaign interference.
The move marks a milestone for the Judiciary Committee, which would be the panel responsible for starting impeachment proceedings against the president.
“Impeachment is a long way down the road… but we’re going to initiate proper investigations,” Jerrold Nadler said Sunday on ABC News, adding that the investigations will be “to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.”
The White House acknowledged Monday morning that it had received a document request from the House Judiciary Committee.
The Justice Department also acknowledged the receipt of the committee’s document request.
“The House Judiciary Committee’s letter has been received by the White House. The Counsel’s Office and relevant White House officials will review it and respond at the appropriate time,” White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said.
The full list of entities, individuals and agencies which are the target of the Judiciary Committee’s requests:
4.American Media Inc
13.Concord Management and Consulting
16.Department of Justice
18.Donald J Trump Revocable Trust
19.Donald Trump Jr.
23.Federal Bureau of Investigation
25.Flynn Intel Group
26.General Services Administration
38.Julian David Wheatland
47.Michael Flynn Jr
50.Peter Smith (Estate)
51. Randy Credico
52. Reince Priebus
53. Rhona Graff
54. Rinat Akhmetshin
55. Rob Goldstone
59.SCL Group Limited
65.The White House
72. 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee
73.Christopher Bancroft Burnham
74.Frontier Services Group