US House panel issues 81 document requests in Trump obstruction probe

Trump administration under the spotlight once again as Russia investigation expands

Guests help themselves to fast-food after US President Donald Trump spoke at an event in honor of the 2018 Division I FCS National Champions: The North Dakota State Bison in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on March 4, 2019.

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.

"This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts", Nadler said in the statement.

The justice department head also noted attempts by the United States president to intimidate witnesses in the course of the investigation, according to The Independent.

In their letter to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, the Democratic trio warned that destruction, manipulation or withholding of such documents would be "in direct contravention of federal laws", which require that presidents and other officials preserve such materials.

The ranking Democrats said they had already written to the Trump administration seeking detail on communications between the two leaders, but have not heard back.

Republicans in Congress accuse Democrats of pursuing an impeachment agenda as part of a political strategy to reclaim the White House in the 2020 election.

Now that Democrats hold a majority in the House, the new probe is a sign that Trump's legal and political peril is nowhere near over, even as the Mueller's Russian Federation investigation winds down.

Other demands for documents are directed to institutions including the White House, the Justice Department, the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team and the Trump Organisation.

Nadler had said Sunday on ABC News that his committee was planning on issuing the document requests, and that Weisselberg and the White House would be included, but declined to provide additional specifics.

When asked by reporters if he will cooperate with the committee's investigation, Trump said he cooperates "all the time with everybody", but he added, "it's all a hoax".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday acknowledged receipt of the committee's request. And Judiciary will share documents it receives with other committees, the counsel said.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said the department has received the committee's letter and is evaluating the request.

He argued that the evidence is clear that Trump has obstructed justice, but that it's not appropriate yet to move forward with impeachment. They include former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump adviser Roger Stone, and former attorney Michael Cohen.

Nadler also said that officials who are now serving or who have previously worked in the White House and the Department of Justice for the administration will be asked to provide information to the committee.

Trump maintains that his campaign did not collude with Russian Federation and has repeatedly attacked the investigation, Mueller and the Mueller staff on Twitter.

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