Top Democrat to demand docs in Trump obstruction probe

Author: Emily Tillett/CBS News
New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler – Photo by CBS News.

New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of House Judiciary Committee, said he will issue requests for documents to dozens of individuals as part of his committee’s investigation into President Trump, who he said he believes obstructed justice.

“It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice. It’s very clear — 1,100 times he referred to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt,” Nadler said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. “He tried to protect Flynn from being investigated by the FBI. He fired Comey in order to stop the ‘Russian thing.'”

He said his committee will send requests for documents on Monday to more than 60 people, including individuals in the White House and the Trump Organization.

“Tomorrow, we will be issuing document requests to over 60 different people and individuals — from the White House to the Department of Justice, Donald Trump, Jr., Allen Weisselberg — to begin the investigations to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power,” Nadler told ABC.

Nadler said impeachment proceedings are a “long way down the road,” and the Judiciary Committee is going to first “initiate proper investigations.”

“The Republicans spent two years shielding the president from any proper accountability. They threatened to impeach people in the Justice Department. They threatened the Mueller investigation,” said Nadler. “It’s our job to protect the rule of law. That’s our core function. And to do that we are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption and into obstruction of justice.”

Nadler said the Judiciary Committee will continue its probe even if special counsel Robert Mueller finds no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“We would want to see the evidence behind that and see the validity of that, we could agree or disagree. But this investigation goes far beyond collusion,” he said.

Nadler said lawmakers would need to “persuade the American public” that impeachment is warranted before pursuing an inquiry.

“We have to do the investigations and get all this. We do not now have the evidence all sorted out and everything to do an impeachment. Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen,” he said. “You have to persuade enough of the opposition party voters, Trump voters, that you’re not just trying to … reverse the results of the last election. We may not get there. But what we have to do is protect the rule of law.”

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