March 5, 2019
It reads like a whodunnit. On March 4, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced that he and his colleagues would investigate alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Donald Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration—among them, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, David Pecker of American Media, former White House Counsel Don McGahn, Trump son-in-law and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Trump buddy Roger Stone; and the president’s sons, Eric and Donald, Jr.
“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,” said Nadler.
“Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee,” he noted. “We have seen the damage done to our democratic institutions in the two years that the Congress refused to conduct responsible oversight.
“Congress must provide a check on abuses of power,” said the committee chairman. “Equally, we must protect and respect the work of Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller, but we cannot rely on others to do the investigative work for us. Our work is even more urgent after senior Justice Department officials have suggested that they may conceal the work of the Special Counsel’s investigation from the public.”
Nadler explained,“We have sent these document requests in order to begin building the public record. The Special Counsel’s office and the Southern District of New York are aware that we are taking these steps. We will act quickly to gather this information, assess the evidence, and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people. This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts. That is exactly what we intend to do.”
The Committee’s investigation will cover three main areas:
- Obstruction of Justice, including the possibility of interference by the president and others in a number of criminal investigations and other official proceedings, as well as the alleged cover-up of violations of the law;
- Public Corruption, including potential violations of the emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution, conspiracy to violate federal campaign and financial reporting laws, and other criminal misuses of official positions for personal gain; and
- Abuses of Power, including attacks on the press, the judiciary, and law enforcement agencies; misuse of the pardon power and other presidential authorities; and attempts to misuse the power of the Office of the Presidency.
For the two years that the Trump administration has been in power, “in the absence of responsible oversight by the Republican Majority,” the House Judiciary Committee Democrats say that they have written—but received no response to—over 100 letters to the White House, the Administration, and House Republican Leadership documenting the failings of the Trump Administration and demanding accountability. With this investigation, they intend to finally get their questions answered.
Research contact: @RepJerryNadler