House lawyer says impeachment probe could go beyond Ukraine

The top House lawyer told a judge on Tuesday that Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Trump may go beyond the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

House general counsel Doug Letter told U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell that the impeachment inquiry could also span obstruction of justice and lying to the American people, CNN reports.

"I can't emphasize enough, it's not just Ukraine,” Letter said, according to the outlet.


Letter appeared in court in Washington, D.C., as the House Judiciary Committee pushes to get grand jury evidence behind former 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’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

However, Howell also questioned Letter on the current House impeachment inquiry, CNN reported. The judgean appointee of former President Obama, asked Letter if Trump could be impeached for lying to the American public.

“I believe so, yes,” Letter responded, according to CNN.

"Another possible impeachment count is obstruction of Congress," Letter added.

Trump's dealings with Ukraine have so far been a primary focus of the impeachment inquiry being led by Democrats in the House.

The chamber launched the inquiry last month after a whistleblower filed a complaint alleging Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE, a top 2020 presidential candidate.

A number of Democrats had already backed launching an inquiry into Trump over details outlined in Mueller's report concerning the 2016 election, though many more came out in support of the effort following revelations about Trump's call with the Ukrainian leader in late July when he asked Zelensky to "look into" Biden.

Democrats have argued that Trump's efforts amounted to seeking foreign interference in the 2020 election, while Trump has maintained that his push for Ukraine as well as China to investigate Biden is focused on alleged corruption. Still, no evidence of wrongdoing has emerged on the part of the former vice president.

Mueller’s report found evidence that the Trump campaign welcomed foreign interference from Russia to benefit Trump in 2016, though it said it could not establish that the campaign conspired with Moscow during the election.

Letter said Tuesday the Justice Department has refused to share FBI memos on what then-White House counsel Don McGahn and other White House employees told Mueller about Trump’s activity that prompted the questions over attempted obstruction of justice, according to CNN.

The Justice Department said Tuesday it agreed to give the House 33 FBI memos from the Mueller investigation, but said the documents have redactions to “protect confidential communications between senior White House advisers,” CNN reports.