House panel votes to subpoena White House, Trump campaign aides

The House Judiciary Committee voted 24-17 on Wednesday to authorize subpoenas for testimony and documents from five former White House officials, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE's first chief of staff, Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusReince Priebus joins CBS News as political analyst CNN hires former longtime CNBC correspondent John Harwood Former Trump staffer suing Trump, campaign over sex discrimination MORE.

The other subpoenas are for testimony and documents from former White House counsel Donald McGahn, McGahn's former deputy Ann Donaldson, former Trump campaign chairman Stephen Bannon and former White House communications director Hope Hicks.

The resolution allows Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)  to “at his discretion and as he determined necessary” issue subpoenas to the individuals as part of the investigation.


The Democrat-led committee has asked 81 individuals and entities connected to Trump to turn over documents as part of its sweeping probe into possible corruption, obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

Nadler has suggested that the five witnesses cited Wednesday have not met the committee’s demands for documents in its investigation, which was announced early last month.

“The resolution authorizes subpoenas for documents and testimony from certain former White House employees,” Nadler said in his opening remarks. "Each of these individuals has had more than a month to produce documents to this committee voluntarily."

Nadler noted that the panel believes these individuals have already provided records to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE or their private attorneys, which the Judiciary chairman says means the president can no longer assert executive privilege over such information or contacts.

However, Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules This week: Raucous rules fight, opening arguments in impeachment trial MORE (Ga.), the committee’s top Republican, claimed Wednesday that the individuals had cooperated with the investigation or shown willingness to cooperate and that Democrats were merely targeting them with subpoena threats because of their proximity to Trump.


“Two of these individuals are cooperating with this ill-advised investigation and have provided nearly 3,000 pages of documents,” Collins said. “The other three individuals responded to Chairman Nadler’s initial inquiry and have also indicated a willingness to cooperate. Democrats never followed up with their lawyers either.”

The escalation of Nadler’s efforts to obtain such records comes as Democrats continue to push forward with his investigation and as Democrats aggressively seek to review the full Mueller report.

The same resolution that authorized the subpoenas for these five individuals also authorized a subpoena to compel the release of Mueller’s full report and underlying evidence.

Nadler announced the sweeping probe on March 4, sending requests to 81 organizations and associates of the president and giving them two weeks to begin producing documents to the committee.

The panel is demanding a slew of documents from the White House, including those related to the removal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the termination of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight MORE and any conversations about the removal of special counsel Robert Mueller.


Nadler has also noted that some of the witnesses have told the panel they need a “friendly” subpoena as cover so that they could cooperate with the committee, though he has declined to name who these individuals are.

The president has attacked the Democratic investigations as witch hunts, going after Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Schiff pushes back: Defense team knows Trump is guilty MORE (D-Schiff.) in recent days.

“There is no amount of testimony or document production that can satisfy Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTrump defense team signals focus on Schiff Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats Nadler calls Trump a 'dictator' on Senate floor MORE or Shifty Adam Schiff. It is now time to focus exclusively on properly running our great Country!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.