House Democrats Will Investigate Trump Starting From Day One Of The New Congress
Democrats officially reclaimed control of the House of Representatives on Thursday, after freshman lawmakers were sworn in and Nancy Pelosi was elected as Speaker of the House. And they are ready to go to work on a number of issues. In addition to pursuing immigration reform and Medicare for All, many House Democrats plan to investigate the Trump administration's policies and the scandals that have plagued the executive branch.
According to The Huffington Post and Rolling Stone, House Democrats plan to immediately open investigations into President Donald Trump's family separation policy, his administration's response to natural disasters in Puerto Rico, his nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and more.
Although Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have urged their party to practice restraint before pursuing investigations and impeachment, California Rep. Brad Sherman announced on Thursday that he had reintroduced articles of impeachment against Trump. According to CNN, Sherman has accused Trump of obstructing justice, which the president has denied doing. He first introduced articles of impeachment in July 2017, alongside Texas Rep. Al Green and Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen.
"I didn't do this as some political move; I did it in July of 2017, about as far away from an election as a House member ever gets," Sherman told CNN on Thursday. "Now I'm making sure not to take a step backward. We had to either take a step backward or not take a step backward."
But impeachment isn't the only thing Democrats are after. According to Vox, the House Intelligence Committee is likely to open an investigation into the Trump administration's relationship with Saudi Arabia, especially after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was allegedly killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. The committee is also expected to investigate American relationships with China, North Korea, and Russia, Vox reported.
Meanwhile, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings sent 51 letters to the leaders of various government agencies last month, seeking many different pieces of information. In these letters, he asked for the names and ages of immigrant children who had been separated from their parents, the identities of any White House officials who have used private email accounts for government business, and how many times government aircraft have been used for private matters.
Now that Democrats control the House, Cummings and other members of his party have the authority to more aggressively investigate these and other issues, The New York Times reported.
One of Cummings' fellow Democrats, California Rep. Maxine Waters, has been an outspoken critic of the president, and has spent months preparing to launch investigations against him. With the Democrats' House majority, Waters is the new chair of the House Financial Services Committee — and she plans to use that position to follow the "Trump money trail" as well as to subpoena information on the president's ties to Deutsche Bank.
Numerous House committees that are newly controlled by Democrats — such as the Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee — started vigorously seeking attorneys last month, in preparation for investigating Trump once Democrats had regained the majority, according to Newsweek. They couldn't officially hire any new staffers until the 116th Congress was in session, but now that it is, Democrats are gearing up to investigate the Trump administration on everything from security clearances to the president's tax returns.