House Judiciary to vote to authorize subpoenas for Trump officials, immigration documents

House Judiciary to vote to authorize subpoenas for Trump officials, immigration documents
© Greg Nash

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday to authorize subpoenas for documents and testimony from a slew of current and former Trump administration officials in connection with the committee’s investigation into alleged obstruction of justice.

The committee is also scheduled to move to authorize subpoenas for documents and testimony from current and former Trump administration officials related to the administration’s immigration policies and the separation of migrant families at the U.S. southern border. 


“For months, we have held hearings and sent letters to the agencies of jurisdiction involved with implementing a catastrophic and inhumane family separation policy at the Southern border. Many questions remain and it is past time for a full accounting of this policy and practice,” Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerGraham promises Kavanaugh will not be impeached over 'scurrilous' allegations Judiciary Committee chairman Nadler dismisses Kavanaugh impeachment calls Nadler: Trump impeachment needed 'to vindicate the Constitution' MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Tuesday.

“The Committee will also move forward with our efforts to request information from critical witnesses as part of our ongoing investigation into obstruction, corruption and abuse of power by the President and his associates,” Nadler said.

In connection with the obstruction probe, the committee will vote to authorize subpoenas for 12 current and former White House and Trump campaign officials and Trump associates, according to text of the resolution that will be marked up on Thursday.

Those include Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - 2020 Democrats set for Lone Star showdown Exclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan Arrests at southern border drop to 64K in August MORE, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDemocrats headed for a subpoena showdown with White House House Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe McCabe's counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict MORE and former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinHouse Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe McCabe's counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal MORE.

It is unclear if Nadler plans to issue the subpoenas immediately if the committee votes to authorize them. Nadler said Tuesday that he remains “open to reaching a reasonable accommodation and will not issue subpoenas if the information we are seeking is voluntarily provided.” 

“We will get answers one way or the other,” Nadler said. 

The list includes former White House aides Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Jody Hunt and former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? Democrats headed for a subpoena showdown with White House MORE. The committee will also vote to authorize subpoenas for Keith Davidson, the former attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, as well as American Media executives Dylan Howard and David Pecker.

Some of these individuals already received document requests from the committee when Nadler announced a sweeping investigation into alleged obstruction and allegations of abuses of power by 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 and his associates back in March.

The committee has already issued subpoenas to former White House officials including ex-counsel Don McGahn and former communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksTrump: 'Top shows' on Fox News, cable are 'Fair (or great)' to me Trump criticizes Fox, which 'isn't working for us anymore' Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor MORE to compel them to testify and provide documents in connection with the investigation. However, the White House has stepped in to block or limit their testimony, instructing them not to answer questions about their work in the West Wing.

Nadler is expected to go to court soon in an effort to civilly enforce the McGahn subpoena.

The White House has accused the Judiciary committee of attempting a re-do of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE's investigation. Many of the individuals from whom the committee has sought information, including McGahn, were key witnesses in Mueller's probe into Russian interference and potential obstruction by Trump.

“House Democrats believe they can conduct the Mueller investigation better than Mueller," White House deputy press secretary Steven Groves said in a statement Tuesday. 

"Democrats are only interested in meaningless show hearings, and cannot get past the denial stage of grief after the investigation resulted in no collusion and no obstruction."

The committee will also vote to authorize subpoenas for documents and testimony related to the “zero tolerance” policy, detention or short-term custody of children or migrant families, and “discussions about or offers of presidential pardons to Department of Homeland Security officials or employees,” according to the resolution text.

The panel has previously requested documents and testimony related to the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Thursday’s vote will mark the first effort by the committee to move forward with subpoenas related to the issue and is likely to further ratchet up tensions between House Democrats and the White House. 

Thursday's committee vote is likely to pass along party lines, with Democrats holding a majority of seats on the panel. 

— Updated at 2:35 p.m.