If President Trump thought his investigatory problems had ended with Attorney General Barr’s release of his brief and unsatisfactory summary of the Mueller report, today served as a rude awakening that he is still far from out of the woods. The Hill reports that the House Judiciary Committee has voted in a 24 to 17 split to authorize subpoenas aimed at five former White House Officials.
The subpoenas will be geared towards gathering both documents and fresh testimony from Trump’s former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former White House Counsel Don McGahn, McGahn’s former Chief of Staff Ana Donaldson, widely reviled former Trump Campaign Chairman Steve Bannon, and former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.
The new resolution grants fairly broad powers to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) as it allows him to issue subpoenas to the aforementioned Trump officials “at his discretion and as he determined necessary.” Given Nadler’s strong advocacy for investigations into Trump in the past and his calls for deeper transparency, one can safely presume that he will exercise this new power judicially.
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The new vote was in response to a belief from Democrats that the five officials in questions have not adequately met the committee’s previous demands for documents for use in its investigation into the Trump administration’s apparent corruption and widespread criminality.
“The resolution authorizes subpoenas for documents and testimony from certain former White House employees. Each of these individuals has had more than a month to produce documents to this committee voluntarily,” said Nadler.
The resolution is doubly bad news for Donald Trump because in addition to subpoena power over the five officials, it also authorized a subpoena aimed at finally forcing the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full, unredacted report as well as the evidence it is built upon. Additionally, it gives Nadler the power to subpoena testimony related to the report.
If the Department of Justice and Trump administration continue to sandbag Democrats over the report, they appear ready to take it right to the courts.
“And if the department still refuses, then it should be up to a judge — not the president and not his political appointee — to decide whether the committee can review the complete record,” said Nadler.
Not surprisingly, the Republicans in the committee did their best to cover for their party’s despicable leader, calling the resolution unnecessary and impatient and claiming the proceedings are an attempt to undermine Trump. In reality, Democrats are clearly just trying to provide the American people with the full picture that they deserve.
Clearly, the story of the Mueller report is far from over and seems to quickly be shaping up as a battle along partisan lines. Luckily, Democratic control of the House gives the country a fighting chance at finally uncovering the truth. President Trump should be very worried.