The House Judiciary Committee has requested a sweeping list of documents and information about possible obstruction of justice and corruption by President Donald Trump and his associates, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and one of his closest advisers.
Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s requests to Manafort and his public affairs consultant, Jason Maloni, could indicate Democrats on the committee believe there may have been back channel communications between the White House and Trump’s former associates about presidential pardons.
Overall, 81 people and entities received a slew of documents that include letters and document requests from Nadler, including key staff on the president’s 2016 and re-election campaigns, his inaugural committee, his family and his businesses.
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.
One Trump notably absent from the list is Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
“We have sent these document requests in order to begin building the public record,” Nadler said in a statement.
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President Donald Trump contended Monday he intends to cooperate — to some extent, at least — with House Democrats’ demand for information.
“I cooperate all the time with everybody,” Trump said during a reception for the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Champion North Dakota State Bison football team. “It’s a political hoax.”
The Bison are visiting the White House after winning seven of the last eight FCS national titles.
Trump used the Bison players in his statement about cooperating with investigators - and his latest swipe at the many investigations he is facing.
“You’re going to learn about that as you grow older,” the president said. “It’s a political hoax. There’s no collusion.”
Just as Trump did when the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Champion Clemson Tigers visited earlier this year when he also served them fast food. Trump sent the players to the spread of french fries, Chick-fil-A sandwiches and McDonald’s Big Macs.
“Folks, go and eat up,” he said.
An Eastern Virginia jury found Manafort guilty last August on eight counts related to tax evasion and bank fraud. The following month, Manafort reached a plea deal with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on separate charges in Washington, D.C.
But Manafort “committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters,” the special counsel said in a court memo last November, effectively breaking the plea agreement.
Trump openly dangled a pardon in front of Manafort last year, telling reporters such a move was “not off the table.”
The first item on Nadler’s document request asks Manafort to provide materials related to “possible pardons for yourself, [former national security adviser] Michael Flynn, or [former Trump personal lawyer] Michael Cohen.”
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Maloni’s received the same demands from Nadler.
Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, whom Cohen implicated in multiple crimes last week during testimony he gave to the House Oversight Committee, is on the list.
Nadler said the special counsel and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, which are probing many of Trump’s associates, were aware of the committee’s investigation launch.
“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.
“Congress must provide a check on abuses of power,” he said.