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 NadlerWhy are we permitting federal child abuse at our border? Trump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify House Democrats request briefing on Epstein, Acosta 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 KushnerTrump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Trump: 'We already started' talks to get A$AP Rocky home from Sweden Kim Kardashian West thanks Trump, Kushner for helping efforts to free A$AP Rocky from Swedish jail MORE, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage House gears up for Mueller testimony Trump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender MORE and former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinKey numbers to know for Mueller's testimony 10 questions for Robert Mueller What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much 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. LewandowskiTwo Democrats vow to press forward on Trump impeachment The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage House gears up for Mueller testimony 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 TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' 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 HicksEx-White House spokesman Raj Shah joins Fox Corporation as senior vice president Cummings asks prosecutors about decision not to charge Trump in hush money probe Judiciary chair demands Hope Hicks clarify closed-door testimony 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 MuellerThis week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill Top Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction 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.