House passes measure endorsing all Trump-focused subpoenas

House Democrats on Wednesday moved to strengthen their hand in legal battles against President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE by passing a measure that endorses the chamber's subpoenas relating to the president, his administration and his businesses.

Democrats put forth the measure at the suggestion of House Counsel Doug Letter after D.C. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump appointee, questioned why Congress had not held a vote to authorize the Democrats' investigation into Trump's finances.

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The language in the bill "affirms all current and future investigations, as well as all subpoenas previously issued or to be issued in the future" and says House committee subpoenas are endorsed by the chamber.

The text was included as part of a rule for a bill related to multi-employer pensions. That measure passed in a party-line vote.

The provision endorsing the subpoenas is meant to respond to Rao's line of questioning from earlier this month when she asked Letter: “Is there any historic example in which Congress has investigated a president, without a full vote of the House or Senate or a resolution?”

The legislative text pushes back on Rao's remarks, arguing that the “validity of some of these investigations and subpoenas has been incorrectly challenged in Federal court on the grounds that the investigations and subpoenas were not authorized by the full House and lacked a 'clear statement' of intent to include the President, which the President’s personal attorneys have argued in Federal court is necessary before the committees may seek information related to the President.”

House Democrats have launched investigations into various aspects of Trump's behavior, his administration and his businesses. Several committees have issued subpoenas for documents and witness testimony, and many of those fights have moved to federal court.