Congress seeks info on private Trump-Putin chats

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As evidence of obstruction, Nadler cited Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey, who at the time was leading an investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Elijah Cummings (MD), and Eliot Engel (NY) --respectively, chairs of the House Intel, House Oversight, and House Foreign Affairs Committees--are formally requesting documents from the White House on communications between President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

"House Democrats sent more than 80 letters Monday demanding documents from family members, business associates, political confidants and others with ties to President Trump, launching a sprawling probe into whether he and his administration have engaged in obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power", the Washington Post wrote, describing the wide-ranging probing letters sent to all corners of the Trump universe.

Nadler added, he believes the U-S president has obstructed justice.

Included in the requests were the Trump Organization, as well as several employees invoked by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen during his hearing last week before the House oversight committee: Chief Financial Official Allen Weisselberg, Executive Vice President Matthew Calamari, and President Trump's longtime personal assistant Rhona Graff. "We will do everything we can to get that evidence". "We don't have the facts yet, but we're going to initiate the proper investigations".

That meeting included Trump Jr., Kushner, Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had "dirt" to offer about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to an email made public.

"We don't even know what the Mueller report says, but Democrats are already hedging their bets", Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said".

Cohen has been sentenced to prison for three years after pleading guilty to financial crimes and to lying to Congress that Trump's Russian business overtures ended in January 2016 at the outset of the presidential campaign.

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Trump maintains that his campaign did not collude with Russian Federation and has repeatedly attacked the investigation, Mueller and the Mueller staff on Twitter.

"Impeachment's a long way down the road", said Nadler, whose panel would begin any impeachment process.

The committee, helmed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, announced Monday that it had sent out 81 requests for documents to start building its record for the investigation.

Mr Mueller is expected to hand in his report to the attorney general shortly. Democratic lawmakers have called for its full release, but Barr has said he would only do so to the extent that Justice Department regulations allow him to.

As a result of Trump's pattern of shielding his communications with Putin, there is no detailed record of his face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years, according to USA officials. "That's our core function".

But as Rubin pointed out, exposing Trump's duplicity and the GOP's complicity could be a major advantage for Democrats' congressional investigations.

President Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing and accused Democrats of a witch hunt.

"The hostile Cohen testimony, given by a liar to reduce his prison time, proved no Collusion!".

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