House Democrats planning to hold hearings regarding Trump's role in hush-money payments: report

House Democrats will reportedly prioritize a congressional inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE’s alleged role in payments to silence two women who say they had affairs with Trump before he took office.

The Washington Post reports the House Judiciary Committee, when it returns to Washington next week, plans to hold hearings and call witnesses to testify who have knowledge of the hush-money payments to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult-film star Stephanie Clifford, known by her stage name Stormy Daniels.

While a federal probe into campaign finance violations committed by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenNew York attorneys subpoena eight years of Trump tax returns: report Eric Holder says Trump is subject to prosecution after leaving office Aggrieved Trump rips Dems for 'sad' impeachment effort MORE for his role in the payments made to the women alleging affairs is over, Democrats reportedly believe there is enough evidence to pursue an inquiry of their own.

The Post reports hearings on the matter could take place as early as October.


Cohen is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for his role in the payments to the women and other federal crimes he pleaded guilty to last year. He testified under oath earlier this year that Trump directed the payments that led to the campaign finance violations.

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinThis week: Congress returns for first time since mass shootings Trump probes threaten to overshadow Democrats' agenda House Democrats planning to hold hearings regarding Trump's role in hush-money payments: report MORE (D-Md.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told the Post that there is ample evidence against Trump.

“The fingerprints are all over this one — it’s not like a big mystery,” he said. “As with the evidence of presidential obstruction of justice, the conclusion seems inescapable: that [Trump] would have been tried had he been anybody else. And now it’s left to Congress again to figure out what to do with the lawbreaking and apparent impunity of the president.”

As part of the probe, Democrats are reportedly considering calling chairman and CEO of American Media Inc. David Pecker as a potential witness.

The National Enquirer, which is owned by American Media Inc., admitted to making the payment to McDougal to keep her silent about her alleged affair with Trump.

Jay SekulowJay Alan SekulowHouse Democrats planning to hold hearings regarding Trump's role in hush-money payments: report Trump, RNC sue to block California law requiring release of tax returns Voters sue California over tax return law targeting Trump MORE, Trump’s personal attorney, told the Post that Trump was not involved in committing any campaign violations.

The inquiry by House Democrats will be the latest in a string of probes into Trump’s conduct as more and more Democrats come forward calling for an impeachment inquiry against Trump to begin.

More than 130 House Democrats to date have called for an impeachment inquiry to start, but House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPence says it's 'vital' for Congress to pass US-Mexico-Canada trade deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Obama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' MORE (D-Calif.) has pumped the brakes on the call for impeachment, noting it does not make sense if the necessary votes can’t be secured in both the House and Senate.