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Trump Promises Warlike Posture If Democrat Controlled House Investigates Him
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8 Nov 2018 06:28 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Nancy Pelosi (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

 

No matter what side of the aisle you lean to, or fall hard to, you have to admit Donald Trump has had it kind of easy in his first few years in office. He hasn't had to answer to anyone. He moved about as he pleased and had support in doing so from all branches of government that were controlled by the Republicans. 

However, the Democrats have been fighting, reaching, crawling to get a voice in government once again. They finally did that on Tuesday. It may not have been both the Senate and the House, and it may not have been by a huge margin, but they did it with the House. They wrested control and did it with minorities and women, two groups that didn't feel represented under the Trump administration.

 

And now the House Democrats want to fight back against the government that slipped out of their hands two years ago. While Donald Trump's signature line has been to "Make America Great Again," the Democrats are poised to make America normal again. 

 The GOP-controlled Congress was uninterested in investigating anything that Trump had done or been accused of, but now there will be an appropriate checks-and-balances system in place, and the Democrats have two years worth of checking to do.

 

Before 24 hours had even expired after the Democrats’ victory, Trump gifted them with their first big investigation when he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, putting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and ultimate report in jeopardy.  

“The firing of Jeff Sessions will be investigated, and people will be held accountable. This must begin immediately, and if not, then a Democratic Congress will make this a priority in January,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) in a statement. He may end up being in charge of the House Judiciary Committee once the new House is seated in January,

 

A staff member of Nadler’s added that in addition to looking into the firing of Sessions, House Democrats are also going to look into legislation to protect Mueller throughout the investigation. 

"President Trump waited until just hours after the midterm elections to make this move, which had been rumored for months," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who may end up chairing the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee come November.

 

"Congress must now investigate the real reason for this termination, confirm that Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is recused form all aspects of the Special Counsel's probe, and ensure that the Department of Justice safeguards the integrity of the Mueller investigation." 

Current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is in line to possibly become the House speaker in January, informed that the Democrats won't "go looking for a fight," yet she does expect committee chairs to conduct investigations wherever they deem necessary.

 

"That will be the work of our committees. Every committee has oversight responsibilities," she announced at a press conference on Wednesday. She added that if Trump or others in his administration don't cooperate in these future investigations and subpoenas become necessary, "So be it." 

While she did receive a call from Trump congratulating her on the Democrats' win in the House, and he even tweeted that she deserved to be speaker of the House again, he also tweeted, "If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level.

 

"Two can play that game!" he insisted, saying he would adopt a "warlike posture" if the Democrats follow through and investigate him financially and politically. 

Aside from the firing of Sessions as well as protecting the Mueller investigation, House Democrats are still not looking for a fight if they use their newfound power to demand Trump release his tax returns, which he has always been hesitant to do. That's another old topic.

 

Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), who will likely be leading the House Ways and Means Committee, said if he does have that power as expected, he will be requesting Trump's returns, which they can now do through the IRS as well. 

"I hope that the president would do this one on his own," said Neal, "largely because every president since Gerald R. Ford has voluntarily done this." He added he will be expecting a lawsuit that drags on to challenge his request.

 

Taking all that into consideration, another member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), says the House Democrats' first priority will be "to protect the special counsel's investigation and today's news of the firing of Jeff Sessions," as it is "deeply concerning." 

"I think that is a number one priority for us in Judiciary even right now in the lame duck session, and then I think we want to pass legislation that would protect the Special Counsel's investigation in any scenario," she continued, while also adding that legislation should also ensure that the results of Mueller's investigation are made public and sent to the Judiciary Committee.

 

Jayapal believes their second priority will be to investigate Trump's conflicts of interest with regards to emoluments. It's illegal for those in public office to get benefits from foreign governments. The Democrats were already working on that anyway, but now they'll be able to pursue it much more easily. 

"I think that we have asked for information before. We haven't come to conclusions, but we certainly need to have a set of hearings on that. And we can and should use subpoena power if the president refuses to provide certain documents," she added.

 

And they still aren't done with possible areas of investigation. Cummings brought up the security clearance processes in the White House and financial conflicts of interest and ethics violations, such as "President Trump's decisions to act in his own financial self-interest rather than the best interests of the American people." 

Let's not forget the zero tolerance policy earlier this year that led to family separations. Pelosi believes the Homeland Security Committee could look into this.

 

A Homeland Security Committee Democratic staff said they "will be doing the rigorous oversight the Republicans have not done, we have tried to do, and they have stopped us from doing. Too often they have done the bare minimum to give cover to the Administration." 

It seems the House Democrats will be very busy in January.

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