House Dems Seek Documents From Dozens of Trump Associates

WASHINGTON (CN) – Delivering on a promise made following last week’s blockbuster testimony by former attorney Michael Cohen, the House Judiciary Committee has requested documents from over 80 people and entities in President Donald Trump’s orbit to uncover links between the president and a wide range of potential wrongdoing.

In this Feb. 8, 2019 file photo, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., questions former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The requests, formally submitted by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Monday afternoon, are part of an investigation into “alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his administration,” according to a statement on the committee’s website.  

Also on Monday, three other House committees requested information on private talks between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, including an interview with an interpreter at the leaders’ summit in Helsinki last year.

“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, who added the documents will be used to help build a public record as the committee looks deeper into Trump’s present and past. “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.”

Nadler announced the document request ahead of time over the weekend, which elicited a response from Trump on his favorite social media platform.

“I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start,” the president wrote on Twitter.

Trump reiterated his attacks on investigations targeting him or his associates, despite the 34 indictments or guilty pleas secured by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion by the Trump campaign.

The list of 81 people and entities being targeted by the House Judiciary Committee investigation includes some high-profile names, such as Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, aide Rick Gates and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who have all pleaded guilty to charges in the Mueller probe, are also on the list, along with Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch accused of funneling money into the shell company used by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen to cover hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Documents are also being sought from the Trump campaign as well as the Trump Foundation and Organization – three entities that have been investigated by both Mueller’s team and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

Others on the list include National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc., which is accused of a “catch and kill” tactic of buying stories harmful to Trump and burying them; Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting and data-mining firm accused of working with Russia to spread disinformation during the 2016 election; Concord Management and Consulting, a Russian firm indicted in the Mueller probe; Felix Sater, a Russia-born executive who worked on a failed deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow; and Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who helped arrange the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians. 

The full list of names and copies of document requests can be found on the House Judiciary Committee’s website.

“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,” Chairman Nadler said. “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.”

According to White House press pool reports shortly after the list was released, Trump said he would cooperate with the committee’s document requests but called the maneuver a “political hoax.”

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