Published: Wed, March 06, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Where the investigations related to President Trump stand

Where the investigations related to President Trump stand

Trump's plan for responding to the multiplying congressional probes into his campaign, White House and personal affairs is coming into focus as newly empowered Democrats intensify their efforts.

House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, said it was the "obligation" of Congress to "provide a check on abuses of power" by the White House.

A top House Democrat says it's "very clear" President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

After Democrats took the House last November, Trump declared that they had to choose between investigating him and earning White House co-operation on matters of bipartisan concern like health care and infrastructure.

Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders issued the statement on March 4, hours after the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee sent letters to 81 individuals and entities as part of a broad investigation into White House ties with Russian Federation.

Shedding light on how partial the investigation would be, Nadler told ABC News before he issued the document requests that he's convinced that Trump has obstructed justice.

No Republican lawmakers to date have signaled they are open to impeaching the president, suggesting that the notion remains unpopular among GOP and independent swing voters.

They also include White House ex-aides Steve Bannon and Hope Hicks, current Trump personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, former attorney general Jeff Sessions, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

"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", Nadler said in announcing the beginning of the probe.

Many of those who received the requests this week have already been interviewed by the House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Nadler said that the document requests, with responses to most due by March 18, are a way to "begin building the public record" and that the committee has the responsibility to investigate and hold public hearings.

Trump fueled suspicions previous year about his ties with Russian Federation when, in a sharp break with standard diplomatic practice, he dismissed top aides for two hours of talks with Putin during their first formal summit, in Helsinki.

The president's eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are on the list, along with Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

He said it was unlikely that investigations into Trump or his inner circle would prosper for long, whether they stemmed from joint prosecutions or referrals like the Cohen probe. Mueller is so important, in fact, that there has been constant hand-wringing about his investigation being canceled or disrupted by Trump.

In their letter to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, the Democratic trio warned that destruction, manipulation or withholding of such documents would be "in direct contravention of federal laws", which require that presidents and other officials preserve such materials.

Numerous people who receive requests were asked about hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who alleged she had an affair with Donald Trump.

Former Obama administration associate counsel Andy Wright, who also worked as a Capitol Hill investigator, said both parties are aware that their correspondence has multiple audiences.

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