The House Judiciary Committee is demanding testimony from a dozen people, including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, for its investigation of possible obstruction of justice by the president.
The committee voted on party lines Thursday to subpoena Kushner, former attorney general Jeff Sessions, former White House chief of staff John Kelly and others, in what the New York Times called “a who’s who of witnesses” cited in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Judiciary chairman, made it clear at the hearing that the new subpoenas are just part of the committee’s ongoing investigation.
“We will not rest until we obtain their testimony and documents so this committee and Congress can do the work the Constitution and the American people expect of us,” Nadler said.
Even before the vote, Trump tweeted complaints about the Democrats, and what he considers their failure to address immigration issues.
The Judiciary Committee did take action on one immigration issue Thursday, though probably not what Trump had in mind:
“The House panel also voted … to subpoena documents related to the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on migrants entering the country illegally, which led to the separation of thousands of children from their parents in 2018,” says the Washington Post.
Rep. Douglas Collins (R-GA), the top Republican on the committee, said Nadler is on a “subpoena binge.”
“Today is the chairman’s chance to show he has what it takes and will not wilt when the spotlight is brightest. That’s all today’s episode is about. It sure isn’t about oversight. It’s simply about politics,” Collins said.
“White House officials could try to intervene to block testimony from many of those subpoenaed on Thursday who are current or former high-level administration officials, as they have with other witnesses,” says the Times, adding that such an action “would only deepen the standoff between the administration and the House.”
Along with Kushner, Sessions and Kelly, prominent figures among those subpoenaed include Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser; Sessions’ former deputy Rod Rosenstein (who appointed Mueller as special counsel), and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.