Lawmakers on the House judiciary committee requested documents from the White House on Monday for an investigation into potential obstruction of justice, corruption and abuses of power in the Trump administration.
Judiciary chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the committee is demanding documents from more than 60 current and former administration officials, Trump family members and employees of the Trump Organization.
“Over the last several years, President [Donald] Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms,” 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 seen the damage done to our democratic institutions in the two years that the [Republican-controlled] Congress refused to conduct responsible oversight. Congress must provide a check on abuses of power.
“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.”
President Trump called the document request and investigation a hoax.
“I cooperate all the time with everybody,” he told reporters during an event at the White House with North Dakota State University’s championship football team.
“You know the beautiful thing … no collusion. It’s all a hoax.”
Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, the president’s sons who are running the Trump Organization, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, also a presidential adviser, are all on the list the committee wants information about — along with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former spokeswoman Hope Hicks, security contractor Erik Prince, White House counsel Don McGahn, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, former Republican National Committee head and chief of staff Reince Priebus, former press secretary Sean Spicer, former adviser Steve Bannon, and the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Nadler sent letters Monday to 81 agencies, individuals and other entities related to Trump, including the Trump Organization, the Trump campaign, the Trump Foundation, the presidential inaugural committee, the White House, the Justice Department, the FBI and presidential aides, The New York Times reported. The panel will also look into corruption claims.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday acknowledged receipt of the committee’s 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,” she said.
“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,” Nadler added. “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 also asked for documents from Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s finance chief. His name was brought up several times last week during a House committee open hearing with Cohen.
At the hearing, Cohen implicated Weisselberg in a scheme to pay off adult film star Stormy Daniels in an attempt to suppress accusations of an affair before the 2016 presidential election.