Friday 26 April 2019

It's clear Trump obstructed US justice, claims committee chief

Hanging on: Donald Trump grabs the US flag at a conference in Maryland at the weekend. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Hanging on: Donald Trump grabs the US flag at a conference in Maryland at the weekend. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Hope Yen

The Democrat chairman of the committee in charge of impeachment has said it is "very clear" US President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

Jerrold Nadler has warned the House of Representative panel will request documents from more than 60 people from Mr Trump's administration, family and business as part of a rapidly expanding Russia investigation.

He said the House Judiciary Committee wants to review documents from the Justice Department, the president's son Donald Trump Jr and Trump Organisation chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn were also likely targets, he added.

"We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption and into obstruction of justice," Mr Nadler said.

"We will do everything we can to get that evidence."

Asked whether he believed Mr Trump obstructed justice, Mr Nadler said: "Yes, I do."

Mr Nadler is not calling the inquiry an impeachment investigation but said House Democrats, now in the majority, were simply doing "our job to protect the rule of law" after Republicans during the first two years of Mr Trump's term were "shielding the president from any proper accountability".

In a tweet yesterday, Mr Trump blasted anew the Russia investigation, calling it a partisan probe unfairly aimed at discrediting his win in the 2016 presidential election.

He said: "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!"

Newly empowered House Democrats are flexing their strength with blossoming investigations.

Half a dozen House committees are now probing alleged co-ordination between Trump associates and Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 election, Mr Trump's tax returns and possible conflicts of interest involving the Trump family business and policy-making.

Mr Nadler's added lines of inquiry also come as special counsel Robert Mueller is believed to be wrapping up his work into possible questions of Trump campaign collusion and obstruction in Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Irish Independent

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