By Brooke Singman
Published March 20, 2019
The majority of individuals and groups targeted in House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s sweeping request for documents as part of an expansive Trump probe have missed the Nadler-imposed deadline to respond, Fox News has learned, raising questions about whether the chairman is facing his own "resistance."
Though the powerful Democratic committee chairman touted the responses he’s gotten in a press release and cable news interview this week, GOP committee sources told Fox News that just eight of the 81 agencies, entities and individuals that were sent requests actually met the Monday deadline. The requests came as part of Nadler's probe into “alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump” announced earlier this month.
“The way Democrats are characterizing the response to their investigation is an exaggeration of epic proportions,” a source familiar with the investigation told Fox News on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Nadler said the committee had received a response from a “large number of the recipients” and many of them had “either sent or agreed to send documents to the Committee.”
“Those documents already number in the tens of thousands,” Nadler said in a press release Monday.
On Monday evening, Nadler appeared on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow,” again saying tens of thousands of documents have been submitted to the committee.
“A lot of people have responded, entities have responded. Some have said that ... they will work with us, some have said they will respond if we give them a subpoena,” Nadler told Maddow on Monday. “We will be talking to people seeing if we can reach accommodations with them. Ultimately, people have to respond to us unless the president personally votes an executive privilege, which is a rare thing.”
He added: “They have no immunity. They have to respond to us.”
But a Republican committee aide told Fox News that only the following individuals and groups have responded: Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who submitted 47 pages; former Trump national security adviser J.D. Gordon, who provided 51 pages; the National Rifle Association, which submitted 1,466 pages; Russian lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who attended the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting and provided 467 pages; former Trump political adviser Sam Nunberg, who sent 23 pages; former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who sent 2,688 pages; Trump inaugural committee chair Tom Barrack, who sent 3,349 pages; and the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, which provided 104 pages.
The aide also told Fox News that Brittany Kaiser, the former director of Cambridge Analytica, a data company that worked for the Trump campaign, has told the committee she has sent 178 pages by mail in response to her request, but the committee has not yet received those documents. Further, Fox News has learned that former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo has responded, but not provided documents.
While Nadler touted receiving tens of thousands of documents, the GOP aide disputed that count.
“Either Democrats are deliberately concealing committee records—which confirms they’re invested in partisan inquisitions more than credible oversight—or they are deliberately misrepresenting the facts to the press and American public. Which is it?” the aide said in an email.
Asked for a comment, a Nadler aide disputed the characterization and cited a Politico story that mentioned a couple other individuals who could cooperate soon. The aide stood by Nadler's original statement, noting some documents are in transit.
"We said received or are in transit, and we stand by that 100%" the aide said in an email.
However, Caputo recently had warned that some targets of Nadler’s probe might not cooperate, including himself.
“I’m not gonna play,” Caputo said earlier this month on Fox News, adding in a later interview that he would not go back to testify on Capitol Hill.
“At the end of the day … I’ve been doing this for two years. It’s a long dance,” Caputo said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight last week. “I’ve testified three times under oath. Each time to the same questions, each time cost me half a year’s salary. And here we go again just as my family was waiting to press play on our lives. I’ve got nothing left.”
Caputo told Fox News on Wednesday that he was actually the first of 81 targets to respond, but ultimately told the committee that he did not have any of the documents they wanted. He does not plan to cooperate further.
In addition to Caputo, Nadler sent document requests to Trump family members, like Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Jared Kushner; former administration figures like former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and former spokeswoman Hope Hicks; along with Trump campaign figures like Brad Parscale and Corey Lewandowski.
The probe itself cast a wide net, drilling deep into virtually every aspect of Trump's administration and business ventures -- as well as his connections to organizations ranging from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to WikiLeaks.
Nadler's letters to Trump's oldest sons asked questions about events that happened in the White House after their father was elected, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey and discussions surrounding the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Several other people related to the Trump Organization were sent letters, including the Trump Organization itself, Allen Weisselberg, the company's chief financial officer and Rhona Graff, Trump's longtime assistant. Among other matters, the company officials were asked to provide documents regarding "any loan, financing transaction, or capital investment by the Russian Federation, any Russian national, any Russian business, or any other Russian entity to the Trump Organization."
Additionally, Nadler's panel requested documents from Julian Assange and his website, WikiLeaks, which published emails stolen from Democrats during the 2016 campaign.
Meanwhile, another powerful Democratic chairman has openly complained that his committee is not getting responses. In a Washington Post op-ed, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., wrote: “The White House has not turned over a single piece of paper to our committee or made a single official available for testimony during the 116th Congress.” This, in response to a dozen letters Cummings has sent to the White House on various topics.
Fox News' Alex Pappas and Gregg Re contributed to this report.