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Democrats ramp up Trump inquiries

Billy House, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- Heading into his re-election campaign, President Donald Trump faces months of inquiries by House Democrats beyond a potential impeachment probe.

The scrutiny extends from Trump's personal finances to decisions made by the White House on issues such as health care and immigration, his alleged direct involvement in payments to silence two women claiming to have had affairs with him and whether his closest aides improperly used private messaging services to conduct official business.

Most probes don't have a direct tie-in to whether the Judiciary Committee opens a formal presidential impeachment inquiry. But many do, and the interconnected investigations will add to the drumbeat of Democratic attacks on Trump leading up to the 2020 election.

Here are some of the biggest investigations to keep tabs on in upcoming months:

Impeachment

The highest-profile investigation is being conducted by the House Judiciary Committee. Chairman Jerrold Nadler says it has reached a key phase in building an impeachment case against the president, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to give a green light to a formal inquiry.

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The Judiciary panel plans to vote Thursday on procedures for conducting hearings that could lead to an impeachment resolution.

Pivotal hearings are set for this month and into the fall, to follow up on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's findings and build a case on whether Trump tried to obstruct the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Other potential presidential abuses of power or corruption also will be under scrutiny.

A decision on whether to advance impeachment articles could come by the end of the year, Nadler said, though committee aides caution that is more an aspirational timetable than a deadline. Pelosi remains reluctant to pursue impeachment in the face of voter opposition, despite more than half of House Democrats favoring it.

Legal battles with the White house over attempts to obtain testimony from key witnesses -- such as former White House counsel Don McGahn -- and court action for other information are likely to extend into mid-November, if not beyond.

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