Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are coming for President Donald Trump.
That was the message from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who issued subpoenas Monday to over 80 individuals and organizations as part of a wide ranging effort to, as Nadler explained on Sunday in an interview with ABC's "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos, investigate the president on a number of potential crimes.
"It’s our job to protect the rule of law," said Nadler. "That’s our core function."
In an official statement Monday, the committee announced the investigation would look at "the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration."
"As a first step, the Committee has served document requests to 81 agencies, entities, and individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation," said the statement.
The subpoenas and investigations come in part from last week's testimony from former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen who, Nadler said, "directly implicated the president in various crimes—both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House."
House judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler: "What we learned from the Cohen testimony is he directly implicated the president in various crimes both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House" https://t.co/vtWeofFwZm #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/iTq1YlF9UM— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 3, 2019
Nadler told Stephanopoulos that he would issue subpoenas to over 60 people; the precise number, as revealed Monday, was 81.
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THE NADLER LIST: pic.twitter.com/g8BoVoGVtg— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) March 4, 2019
The subpoenas are part of a mission by Democrats to take down Trump, whose presidency has been beset by accusations of criminal activity since before his inauguration. Until now, most of those efforts have revolved around Russian interference in the 2016 election and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. But this time there's something real to hang the efforts on as the House looks at the possibility of impeachment proceedings.
“[What] we learned from the Cohen testimony,” said @RepJerryNadler, “is that he directly implicated the president in—in various crimes, both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House.”https://t.co/GKkLwCuZ9W— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) March 4, 2019
At The Nation, reporter John Nichols wrote that Nadler's rundown of Trump's actions in office already—including firing James Comey, fighting the Mueller investigation, and protecting his favored advisors from law enforcement—was "a damning list of accusations."
It reads like an article, actually many articles, of impeachment. To get to the point where those articles are written and approved by a Judiciary Committee majority (of Democrats and, ideally, constitutional-conservative Republicans), however, inquiries and investigations must proceed, hearings must be held, witnesses will almost certainly have to be subpoenaed.
House Democrats took a major step in that direction Monday.