The House Judiciary Committee voted Thursday according to party lines to authorize subpoenas against a group of personalities associated with President Trump as part of the panel's investigation into the obstruction of justice and Other presumed abuses by the president, while the Republicans were decrying what they called a "Summoning Citation."
The 21-12 vote was held after a tense committee meeting, during which legislators clashed over the ever-growing investigation into the Trump administration as well as the format of the testimony scheduled by former special advocate Robert Mueller before the panel next week. The details of this hearing remain unclear.
DELEGUANTS OF THE JUDICIAL CHAMBER PREPARE THE SUB-POINAS BURST FOR INDIVIDUALS RELATED TO TRUMP
Committee Chair, Jerrold Nadler, DN.Y., S & T is also committed to authorizing subpoenas against current and former public servants, in connection with the policies of Trump immigration, especially those involved in the implementation of the "zero tolerance" policy and other family separation practices.
But some of the most prominent personalities have been targeted as part of the investigation into the obstruction.
"These 12 subpoenas relate to the ongoing investigation of the committee on charges of obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuse of power, including the behaviors described in the report. Mueller, "said Nadler in his opening statement Thursday. "The Judicial Commission has a constitutional obligation to investigate credible allegations of professional misconduct."
Nadler stated that "nothing can replace the main evidence" during the committee's investigation and indicated that the committee had previously searched for documents and testimony from several people on the list.
"These include government officials who have worked (or continue to work) near the president. These witnesses also include people outside the government who have crucial information in our investigation, "he said.
The following people are being summoned: former Attorney General Jeff Sessions; former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner; Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor at the White House; former White House Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn; former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly; former Trump campaign director Corey Lewandowski; former White House aide Rob Porter; National Enquirer editor David Pecker and content manager Dylan Howard; Keith Davidson, former lawyer for Stormy Daniels; and Deputy Attorney General Joseph "Jody" Hunt.
Committee member Doug Collins, however, criticized Nadler and the Democrats for using subpoenas to "initiate a process of dialogue."
"Here we are back for another episode of premature subpoenas presented by the Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee," Collins said. "The President wants to continue his bidding spree and assign another twelve subpoenas to people related to the Mueller case investigation."
Collins said that Nadler "has had no official contact" with many of the people he's considering subpoenaing.
"In the world of congressional oversight, these subpoenas have no meaning," Collins said. "But in the political world, today's markup makes sense."
Representative Steven Cohen, D-Tenn., Defended the move to the subpoena, claiming that these people are "the best witnesses" and will provide "the best evidence of the obstruction of justice". He also claimed that they were all "direct witnesses of crimes. "
"This committee is responsible for presenting them if they exist to the American people," Cohen said.
Earlier this year, Nadler launched a massive request for documents as part of the vast Trump survey, asking for responses from 81 agencies, entities and individuals. Nadler sent requests for documents to the majority of people that the committee plans to subpoena, including Kushner, Flynn, Sessions, Lewandowski and others. In March, a GOP source on the committee told Fox News that only a small group had provided documents and met Nadler's deadline.
"I remain open to finding a reasonable compromise and will not issue subpoenas if the information we seek is provided voluntarily," Nadler said this week. "We will have answers in one way or another."
Nadler's committee is also grappling with the Trump administration on other fronts, and voted in favor of contempt by current administration officials and former Trump administration officials for defying the given witness summonses. by the Congress. In April, Trump vowed to block any subpoena against members of his administration.
"We are fighting against all subpoenas," Trump said in April. "Look, these people are not impartial. They are democrats trying to win in 2020 … they will not win against me. "
He added, at the time, that "the only way to succeed is to pursue me relentlessly."
Sparks also flew over the structure and format of Mueller's public hearing, which is scheduled to take place next Wednesday.
At this point, he plans to testify in public before the Judiciary Committee of the House for two hours or more, followed by two hours of additional testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in an open setting.
But Democrats said on Wednesday that discussions on the audience structure were still "changing," and some first-year lawmakers expressed concern over the possibility that they would not have the opportunity to interview the former special council.
"Mr President, I am really disappointed that I can not ask questions of special advocate Mueller," said first-year representative Guy Reschenthaler, a former prosecutor and judge, on Thursday. "It's also hypocritical to let the witness dictate the terms … I think that makes us look weak."
Collins said the panel had been "rolled" and that he "had his legs cut off from us by limiting the issues." The Arizona representative, Debbie Lesko, a junior Republican on the panel, said the decision to exclude some members from the interrogation was "just plain wrong".
"I was elected as anyone else here," she said, speculating that she would be one of the most excluded members .
Associated Press contributed to this report.