Published: Tue, March 05, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

US House widens Trump obstruction probe

US House widens Trump obstruction probe

The letters to Pompeo and Mulvaney were part of a widening investigation by the Democratic-controlled House looking at whether the Republican president or those around him abused power or obstructed justice.

"Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee".

President Donald Trump speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, March 4, 2019. Trump denies any wrongdoing.

"I cooperate all the time with everybody", he said before adding: "You know the handsome thing? It's all a hoax". White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday the White House had received the letter and that "the counsel's office and relevant White House officials will review it and respond at the appropriate time".

He said that Trump's former long-time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in his lengthy public testimony to Congress last week, "directly implicated the president in - in various crimes, both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House".

"Yes, I do", Nadler said. "But we're going to initiate proper investigations".

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

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At the White House, Trump was asked if he would cooperate with Nadler's probe.

"We're far from making decisions" about impeachment, he said. One of the most intriguing of these lines of inquiries led to a letter sent Monday by the chairs of the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees: what exactly is the nature of Trump's communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin? As of this writing, there is no record of the president's face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years, even in classified files, US officials said according to the Washington Post.

Cohen testified the money was meant to partly reimburse him for $130,000 he paid shortly before the 2016 election to adult film star Stormy Daniels as hush money, to keep her quiet about an alleged affair she claims to have had with then real estate mogul Trump more than a decade ago.

The list of 81 names touches on all parts of Mr Trump's life - his businesses, his campaign, the committee that oversaw the transition from campaign to the White House and the White House itself.

The new investigation also follows an announcement by the House intelligence panel that it is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election that brought Trump to power, and Trump's foreign business interests. He said there would be more requests, which might involve additional people.

Trump maintains that his campaign did not collude with Russian Federation and has repeatedly attacked the investigation, Mueller and the Mueller staff on Twitter. But he said, "The claim that there is no evidence is factually wrong".

"All the people on the list have given information already", Nadler said, either to Special Counsel Robert Mueller for his probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election or to federal prosecutors for the Southern District of NY in their corruption probe. He emerged empty-handed from a high-profile summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on denuclearisation, and Mr Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, in three days of congressional evidence, publicly characterised the president as a "conman" and "cheat".

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