House Democrats reportedly preparing ‘subpoena cannon’ for Trump-related probes

The subpoenas are coming.

Democrats, fresh off winning back control of the House last week, are preparing widespread investigations into President Trump’s life and work, as the president says he’s adopting a “warlike posture” in anticipation of the probes.

Those investigations could cover everything from Trump’s ousting of Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week to Trump’s past tax returns as a businessman to the findings of the Robert Mueller investigation of the 2016 election to Trump’s relationship with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

One senior Democratic source on Monday told the news site Axios, which published 85 potential Trump-related targets, they are preparing a "subpoena cannon” for when the new Congress is seated in January.

It’s the latest indication that Democrats plan to aggressively take advantage of their new majority, as they regain the power to open a slew of investigations into the White House and the president himself.

Since last week’s midterms, Trump has fired a warning shot at Democrats, declaring he would turn the tables and leverage his party's Senate majority to investigate Democrats if they go that route.

"I think I’m better at that game than they are, actually, but we’ll find out,” the president said at a post-election news conference.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who hopes reclaim the position of House speaker when her colleagues vote on leadership roles in the coming weeks, said last week that the midterms were about “restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration."

"In sharp contrast to the GOP Congress, a Democratic Congress will be led with transparency and openness, so the public can see what's happening and how it affects them. ... We will have accountability," Pelosi said.

Pelosi has said that unearthing Trump's personal tax returns would be "one of the first things we'd do" in an interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, calling it the "easiest thing in the world" to obtain them using statutory authority granted to congressional committees under the Internal Revenue Service code.

Democrats made several efforts to obtain Trump's returns while in the minority, only to be rejected by House Republicans. Trump would likely seek to stall those requests with legal challenges, and it remains unclear whether Democrats could publicly release his tax returns even if they obtained them for investigative purposes.


Democrats also said they want to learn more about why Trump ousted Jeff Sessions, who infuriated Trump over his recusal from the Russia investigation, as attorney general the day after the election.

“Why is the President making this change and who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation?” New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, the Democratic leader of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted last week. “We will be holding people accountable.”

It’s also possible Democrats will also move to impeach Trump should they win back control – an effort already embraced by some left-wing lawmakers and left-wing donors like Tom Steyer. Top House Democrats had largely pushed back on calls to pursue that option during the election, but Axios reported Monday it’s likely they would explore that option after Mueller releases a public report on his findings.

During an Axios interview that aired on HBO, California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, that he plans to release transcripts of interviews from the committee’s own Russia probe.

"I want to make sure that Bob Mueller has the advantage of the evidence that we've been able to gather," Schiff said. "But equally important: that Bob Mueller is in a position to determine whether people knowingly committed perjury before our committee."

There’s precedent to the opposition party winning back control of the House -- mostly recently in 2010, when Republicans rode the Tea Party wave to a House majority -- and becoming a major thorn in the side of the president.

That 2010 win ignited a slew of investigations on the House Oversight Committee, under Republican chairmen Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz, of Obama-era scandals, including the Benghazi attacks, the Fast and Furious operation and the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.