House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) appeared on ABC’s “This Week” this morning to announce his committee’s new investigation of President Trump. He told George Stephanopoulos that “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.”
“Do you think the president obstructed justice?” asked ABC‘s George Stephanopoulos.
“Yes, I do,” replied Nadler.
NEW: House judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler says "tomorrow we will be issuing document requests to over 60 different people and individuals from the White House, to the Dept. of Justice, Donald Trump Jr. … to begin investigations" https://t.co/T5uriFOXYo #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/OYnNw8ELjZ
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 3, 2019
Stephanopoulos then asks Nadler, “How about if Robert Mueller comes back and says definitively we find no collusion by Pres. Trump? Is that a conclusion you’ll accept?”
Nadler replied, “We’d want to see the evidence behind that. This investigation goes far beyond collusion.”
When asked about the possibility of impeachment, Nadler said that was “a long way down the road,”
What we learned from the Cohen testimony is that he directly implicated the president in — in various crimes, both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House.”
We don’t have the facts yet. But we’re going to initiate proper investigations.
The Republicans spent two years shielding the president from any proper accountability … [T]hey threatened to impeach people in Justice Department, they threatened the — the Mueller investigation. 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 of — into corruption and into obstruction of justice.
There can be crimes that are impeachable offenses and impeachable offenses that are not crimes.
When asked what evidence his committee has, Nadler cited Trump’s reference to the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt,” that he had “tried to protect [fired national security adviser Michael] Flynn from being investigated by the FBI, and supposedly admitted that he had fired FBI Director James Comey “to stop the Russian thing” in an NBC interview.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re pointed out that “in the NBC interview, contrary to Nadler’s claim, Trump did not say that he had fired Comey to “stop the Russia thing,” and instead insisted he had fired Comey for incompetence. But he acknowledged that the Russia probe was on his mind.”
In addition to Nadler’s new investigation, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, will likely open an investigation into Trump’s finances.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the chairperson of the House Finance Committee, “has focused on Deutsche Bank, the German asset management firm that has loaned Trump’s real estate organization millions of dollars over the years.”
And, Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, will reopen and expand the Trump/Russia investigation that the committee had closed after finding no evidence of collusion in April 2018.
On Saturday, I posted about the Democrats’ plan to open this investigation. I wrote:
This is an act of desperation by the Democrats and I would argue it is an abuse of power on their part. As their narrative of Trump/Russia collusion unravels, they are opening up a new frontier. Between the latest investigation and Rep. Adam Schiff’s planned examination of Trump’s financial records, they hope to seize upon something they can inflate and use to incriminate the President. Even if they turn up nothing, they believe that the mere existence of several open investigations will maintain a steady degree of pressure on the President. They hope to keep him mired in a constant cloud of suspicion.
It appears as if the Democrats are well aware that Robert Mueller’s report, due at any time, will not contain the hoped for evidence of collusion. Thus, they are pivoting to Plan B.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) appeared later in the show and “said he thinks Nadler decided to impeach the president the day the president won the election.”
Trump responded to Nadler’s announcement in a tweet:
After more than two years of Presidential Harassment, the only things that have been proven is that Democrats and other broke the law. The hostile Cohen testimony, given by a liar to reduce his prison time, proved no Collusion! His just written book manuscript showed what he…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2019
…said was a total lie, but Fake Media won’t show it. 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 – And only because I won the Election! Despite this, great success!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2019