Trump to be probed for abuse of office, obstruction

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FILE- In this Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, file photo President Donald Trump speaks to the media before leaving the White House in Washington, to travel to Florida. The Trumps are spending the Thanksgiving Day week at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The House Judiciary Committee will seek documents from more than 60 people and organizations as it begins investigations into possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by President Donald Trump, the panel’s chairman said on Sunday.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler told ABC’s “This Week” the panel wanted to get documents from the Department of Justice, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, among others.

“We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption … and into obstruction of justice,” Nadler said. “It’s our job to protect the rule of law.”

“It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,” Nadler said. He said it was too soon to consider whether impeachment should be pursued, however.

“Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen,” he said.

As evidence of obstruction, Nadler cited Trump’s May 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into Russia activities in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.

That investigation was subsequently taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is expected to deliver his findings to the U.S. attorney general within weeks.

Nadler also cited what he called Trump’s attempts to intimidate witnesses in the investigation.

He said the committee on Monday would release the list of people and organizations it would request documents from.

Trump has denied his campaign worked with Moscow. “I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start,” Trump said in a tweet on Sunday.

The White House and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment on Nadler’s remarks.

Trump told a group of conservative activists and politicians on Saturday that investigators want to look at his finances and business dealings because no evidence of collusion has been found. “All of a sudden they are trying to take you out with bullshit,” he said.

While the Mueller investigation is focused on specific crimes, Congress’ probes will cast a wider net, Nadler said. Reuters

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