House Democrats are reportedly planning to use their incoming majority in Congress to probe President Trump’s impact on the integrity of the Justice Department and the FBI, and have asked for a response from the departments' leaders by the end of the year.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the incoming Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, urged top U.S. law enforcement officials to respond to over 100 letters House Democrats sent regarding Trump’s actions towards U.S. law enforcement, Reuters reported.
Nadler asked acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and FBI Director Christopher Wray to respond to the questions by Dec. 31.
"I write with growing concern over President Trump's repeated attacks on the integrity of the Department of Justice and the FBI,” Nadler said in the letter. "The president’s behavior appears to be motivated by an urge to shield himself, his family, and his business interests from the ongoing work of the department and the bureau," he added.
"The president’s behavior appears to be motivated by an urge to shield himself, his family, and his business interests from the ongoing work of the department and the bureau."
The publicized letter is an indication that the incoming Democratic majority -- led by California Democrat Nancy Pelosi -- will use the House’s investigative powers to scrutinize Trump and his associates, potentially leading to a tense standoff between the two branches of government.
The Democrats are reportedly preparing a “subpoena cannon” for when the new Congress gets seated in January, starting investigations that cover everything from the resignation 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.
Nadler recently asked on social media why the president changed the person in charge of Mueller. “We will be holding people accountable,” he said.
The letter refers to Mueller’s investigation as well and suggests Trump wants to curb the probe into the alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. "The president has called the special counsel’s investigation a 'witch hunt' at least 84 times this year," Nadler wrote in the letter.
“He has identified the investigation as a significant threat to his administration, stating that he wants it stopped. He has threatened to fire department officials for failing to ‘totally protect him’,” he continued.
“These actions are not normal,” the letter added. “And they ignore the guidance of the White House Counsel, flout the Constitution and undermine our federal law enforcement agencies.”