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House Judiciary Committee Votes to Authorize Subpoenas for a Dozen Trump Admin. Officials

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler (D-NY) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 19, 2019. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

The House Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve subpoenas for twelve current and former Trump administration officials as part of its probe of President Trump’s alleged attempts to obstruct Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The 21–12 party-line vote authorizes Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler to issue subpoenas for current and former officials who lawmakers believe witnessed the president’s attempts to obstruct justice or otherwise abuse his power.

“These include government officials who worked or continue to work in close proximity to the president,” Nadler said in his opening statement. “These witnesses also include those outside of government who have critical information in connection with our investigation. 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.”

Nadler now has the power to subpoena Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, former national-security adviser Michael Flynn, former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, former attorney general Jeff Sessions, former Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski, and former secretary of homeland security and White House chief of staff John Kelly, among other officials.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the panel, scolded Nadler for engaging in cynical partisan politics under the guise of legitimate oversight.

“Today is the chairman’s chance to show he has what it takes and will not wilt when the spotlight is brightest,” Collins said. “That’s all today’s episode is about. It sure isn’t about oversight. It’s simply about politics.”

The vote also authorized the issuing of subpoenas relating to the administration’s zero-tolerance immigration-enforcement policy. Congressional Democrats have called on the Trump administration to share more information about conditions in the overflowing migrant-detention centers that line the southern border as reports of unsanitary and unsafe conditions continue to emerge.

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