House Dems to Probe Trump's Allies, DOJ in Wake of Cohen Testimony

They are demanding responses within two weeks.

President Donald Trump says he'll cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee's sweeping investigation into his White House, campaign and businesses.

The farthest-reaching request since Democrats took control of the House underscored lawmakers' determination to hold Trump and those around him accountable for controversies that have dogged the President during his first two years in office - and perhaps lay the grounds for impeachment proceedings.

The letters to Hicks and Spicer ask them to turn over any work diaries, journals or "a description of daily events related to your employment" by Trump.

Nadler is also seeking to learn about communications regarding Trump's firing of Comey as FBI Director, as well as what occurred at a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in NY. While some more liberal members of the Democratic caucus would like to see Trump impeached now, Democratic leaders have been more cautious.

Nadler, who has already said that it's "very clear" that Trump obstructed justice, didn't mention the I-word in a statement on Monday.

"I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is", said Cohen in his opening statement. "It's all a hoax". The Senate panel's parallel probe has been much more professionally handled, with sober bipartisan leadership, but its resources and powers are incomplete, so its 'no collusion' findings can not be considered conclusive.

The Democratic-majority House intelligence panel has announced a separate probe into Russian interference and also Trump's foreign financial interests. But while Democrats are pursuing a host of investigations into the Trump administration, they also need to keep their constituents in mind.

The announcement of the committee's probe comes just ahead of the much-anticipated conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation.

The panel sent document requests to 81 people and entities, including Trump's family, campaign staff, current and former White House officials, and government agencies.

FILE - Special counsel Robert Mueller, in charge of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, departs Capitol Hill, in Washington, June 21, 2017.

To aid its inquiry into possible obstruction of justice, the committee is expected to focus its document requests on actions by Trump that could constitute efforts to remove perceived enemies and install more loyal replacements at the Justice Department, according to a person familiar with the matter.

On Monday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the letter from the House Judiciary Committee chairman has been received.

In recent months, Trump has derided Mueller, a longtime Republican and former FBI director, accusing him of being ethically conflicted and leading a team of "angry Democrats" in an illegitimate investigation.

"I think Congressman Nadler made a decision to impeach the president the day the president won the election", McCarthy said.

The letters are just the first step in what's likely to be a lengthy process as the committee probes a wide range of issues.

The subpoenas and investigations come in part from last week's testimony from former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen who, Nadler said, "directly implicated the president in various crimes-both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House".

While most high-ranking Congressional Democrats have indicated that impeachment is far off and now not even on the table, it is clear that Nadler's expansive investigation has been launched with the goal of uncovering evidence that the president committed criminal, impeachable offenses.

  • Rogelio Becker