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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 TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven 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 CohenMichael Cohen writing second book on Trump administration's Justice Department Bruce Ohr retires from DOJ Trump again asks Supreme Court to shield tax records 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.

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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 RaskinCongress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act COVID-19 and the problem of presidential succession Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates 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 SekulowTrump cannot block grand jury subpoena for his tax returns, court rules Now, we need the election monitors Judge denies Trump's request for a stay on subpoena for tax records 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 PelosiOn The Money: Trump says stimulus deal will happen after election | Holiday spending estimates lowest in four years | Domestic workers saw jobs, hours plummet due to COVID Hoyer lays out ambitious Democratic agenda for 2021, with health care at top CNN won't run pro-Trump ad warning Biden will raise taxes on middle class 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.