House panel opens sweeping probe of Trump, his associates

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The committee is sending requests to 81 people linked to the president and his associates.

Democrats launched a sweeping new probe of President Donald Trump on Monday (March 4), an aggressive investigation that threatens to shadow the president through the 2020 election season with inquiries into his White House, campaign and family businesses.

The Judiciary Committee is investigating possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.

Asked on "ABC This Week" whether he believes the president obstructed justice, Nadler replied, "yes I do".

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen told the House Oversight Committee last week, that Trump funded a $130,000 payment to silence Stephanie Clifford, also known by her adult film name "Stormy Daniels", about her alleged affair with Trump.

The committee chairmen specifically asked to interview any staff who were at Trump's meetings with Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017, and their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018. He emerged empty-handed from a high-profile summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on denuclearisation, and Mr Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, in three days of congressional evidence, publicly characterised the president as a "conman" and "cheat". Nadler said that on Monday the committee will release the list of people and organizations it would request documents from. After all, the Judiciary Committee is where impeachment proceedings would begin.

The announcement of the committee's probe comes just ahead of the much-anticipated conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation.

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"I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start", Trump said in a tweet on Sunday. "No collusion. It's all a hoax".

What is certain is that Barr intends to maintain oversight of the probe, unlike his predecessor Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russian Federation probe after it was disclosed he had failed to tell lawmakers during his confirmation hearing that he had two meetings with Russia's former ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak.

Just as Trump has hit hard on the Mueller investigation, the former lawyer suggested that his enemies will bite back.

The Republican senator from Kentucky said in a speech Saturday he "can't vote to give extra-Constitutional powers to the president".

The letters include requests for information on the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower attended by Kushner, Trump Jr, now-jailed former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer reportedly close to the Kremlin, and documents surrounding the termination of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey. While the tax panel has not asked for the documents yet, lawyers for the committee have instructed other panels to help make the case to the public about why the forms are essential to investigating the president.

For instance, after Cohen's testimony last week, both the House Oversight and Intelligence committees indicated they wanted to speak to Weisselberg, who is on the Judiciary Committee's list as well.