Why would Donald Trump mind whether his attorneys complied with a Democrat-led House committee to produce documents? After all, POTUS claims that he and his family are as pure as the driven snow, even though the president does have a significant orange tinge. This is the deadline the House Judiciary committee set for 81 people, government agencies, and private organizations to fork them over. What is the problem then?
The Judiciary committee encompasses far more than Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign conspiracy with Moscow. This House committee has been doing what the formerly Republican-led committee should have done over the past two years. It has been investigating “abuses of official power, public corruption and obstruction of justice,” according to The Daily Beast.
Democrats on the House Judiciary committee will also question White House officials about how they have been dealing with white nationalism after the mass shooting in two mosques in New Zealand, according to The NY Daily News.
The Judiciary committee asked them to voluntarily provide large quantities of written materials. The House committee thoughtfully suggested recipients of its request could start with those materials they had already given “Mueller or the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).”
Trump’s attorney Jane Raskin let Judiciary committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and the committee members know what the president’s outside legal team leader, Jay Sekulow, had in mind. The letter insisted the attorneys had not turned any materials over to Mueller or the SDNY. Therefore, Sekulow used semantics to claim what Nadler wanted did not exist.
Republican strategist and former 2016 Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo’s attorney informed the Judiciary committee by letter that his client refused to testify or cooperate in any way. Caputo jumped on the Sekulow bandwagon and told The Daily Beast:
‘My attorney responded to the House Judiciary document request within 24 hours—we have none of the requested documents. I have testified three times under oath, answering the same questions each time, paying $20,000 to $30,000 each time. I have not yet been invited to testify a fourth time. If I am, I will decline. If I am subpoenaed, I will assert my Fifth Amendment rights. Enough is enough.’
Others in Trump’s orbit may elect to stiff-arm Nadler or slow-walk their materials. Over half of the 81 people or entities from whom the committee chair requested materials have complied. A number of those who were around Trump during the campaign told the Daily Beast they intended to comply:
‘…former campaign foreign-policy aide Carter Page, music publicist and Trump Tower New York meeting facilitator Rob Goldstone, ex-political adviser Sam Nunberg and even ex-legal team spokesperson Mark Corallo told The Daily Beast earlier this month they would cooperate.’
The House Judiciary committee has the power of the subpoena, but there has not been an answer to what Chairman Nadler will do if people refuse to comply with his request for materials.