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US House panel issues 81 document requests in Trump obstruction probe

US House panel issues 81 document requests in Trump obstruction probe

Since taking power in the wake of November's midterm elections, House Democrats have vowed to investigate Trump's presidency and business as they await the special counsel Robert Mueller investigation's findings. And though Nadler said on Sunday that "impeachment is a long way down the road", the possibility of removing Trump from office looms over the investigation.

The request comes on the same day House Democrats made a sweeping demand for documents from dozens of people with connections to Trump amid an investigation into potential obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.

Other high-profile names on the list include perennially embattled White House aide and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former White House counsel Don McGahn and the president's inaugural committee. The panel will also look into corruption claims.

If House Democrats are planning to impeach Trump, it may fit into a reelection strategy painting Democrats as emotionally volatile and unhinged.

More document requests are expected after this first wave, according to a committee counsel.

"President Trump, on multiple occasions, appears to have taken steps to hide the details of his communications with President Putin from other administration officials, Congress, and the American people", they wrote in their letters.

The list, which asks for materials concerning possible obstruction of justice by the president, or possible conspiracy between Trump associates and Russian officials, marks the opening salvo of what some expect to be a fight between Congress and the Justice Department over Mueller's files.

Among the committee's aims is determining whether Trump may have obstructed justice by ousting perceived enemies at the Justice Department, such as former FBI Director James Comey, and abused his presidential power by possibly offering pardons or tampering with witnesses.




On Monday, the House Judiciary sent out a request for documents to 81 individuals and entities that might shed light on criminal wrongdoing on the part of the president.

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. He said that Trump's former long-time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in his lengthy public testimony to Congress last week, "directly implicated the president in - in various crimes, both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House".

Asked if he believed the President obstructed justice, Mr Nadler said, "Yes, I do".

"We're far from making decisions" about impeachment, he said.

There are also people connected to Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, including participants in a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer before the election.

Several U.S. congressional committees are pursuing investigations focusing on Trump.

Warner said he will reach his decision on whether Trump colluded with Russian Federation to help him win the election after more investigation.

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