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House Judiciary authorizes subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions and 10 others

Todd Ruger, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- The House Judiciary Committee authorized 12 more subpoenas Thursday related to its probe of the Trump administration, including subpoenas for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the president's son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the witnesses are government officials who worked in close proximity to President Donald Trump or those outside the government who have "critical information" related to allegations of obstruction of justice and public corruption detailed in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report released in April.

"We will not rest until we obtain their testimony and documents so this committee and Congress can do the work the Constitution and the American people expect of us," the New York Democrat said at the beginning of the markup.

The committee agreed to an amended resolution by a party-line vote of 21-12.

The threat of additional subpoenas comes as the House has authorized lawsuits to enforce subpoenas against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn -- but has not taken any court action to do so.

And it comes less than a week before Mueller testifies before the committee about his report, a televised event that Democrats hope will better inform the public about the details in the 448-page document that is thick with legal analysis.

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, criticized the action, saying the committee was being run by press release and claiming it was not how congressional investigations are supposed to work.

"Here we are again for another episode of premature subpoena authorizations, brought to you by the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee," Collins said.

Trump took to Twitter to criticize the committee's moves just ahead of the hearing for not focusing on immigration legislation.

 

"Now the Democrats have asked to see 12 more people who have already spent hours with Robert Mueller, and spent a fortune on lawyers in so doing. How many bites at the apple do they get before working on Border Loopholes and Asylum," Trump tweeted.

In addition to Sessions and Kushner, the resolution authorizes subpoenas for former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly; former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; David Pecker, CEO of American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer; and Dylan Howard, the editor of the tabloid.

Others are former White House aides Rick Dearborn and Robert Porter; former national security adviser Michael Flynn; former Sessions chief of staff Jody Hunt; political operative Corey Lewandowski and attorney Keith Davidson.

The committee's resolution also authorizes subpoenas for testimony and documents related to the Trump administration's policies related to immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border when it comes to family separation and child detention.

"Over the past several months we have held hearings and sent letters to the agencies of jurisdiction regarding a series of catastrophic and inhumane immigration policies," Nadler said. "Many questions remain, and it is past time that we hold this administration responsible."

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