With the Democrats winning the House of Representatives, it gives them the power to freely investigate Donald Trump’s purported wrongdoing. We already have their wish list.
Put very simply, the subtext of the midterms (in particular, the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives) indicates that things are about to get extremely sticky for the Trump Administration. While the GOP may control the Senate and will maintain the power to make laws and/or outvote any impeachments, the Democrats running the House downstairs gives them the ability to freely investigate some of Trump’s more questionable decisions.
Our chief U.S. political analyst, Nicholas Harrington, believes that the back end of Trump’s Presidency could be “a total shitshow” with “endless hearings and subpoenas … and they might even get Donald’s taxes.”
If you control the House, you control the House Committees, Democrats no longer have to ask the Republicans for permission.
But, like what?
Well, for example, the House Intelligence Committee could reopen the parts of the Trump-Russia probe investigation that the Republicans squashed; the House Foreign Affairs Committee could gaze into the Khashoggi fiasco; the Homeland Security Committee could look into Trump throwing migrant children in cages; and etc. While this is all speculation, a certain laundry list of complaints already exists and they’ve already been submitted prior to the midterms.
Back in September, the Democrats on the Oversight Committee had 64 instances when they requested that the (Republican-controlled) committee subpoena the Trump administration. Each time, it was knocked back. Now, they’re free to rehash these complaints. The entire list is available, but here’s a sample of the more notable:
- The use of WH security clearance (which would involve Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, etc.)
- The Muslim travel ban
- The possible participation of Cambridge Analytica’s foreign employees in U.S. elections
- The use of private email by White House officials
- The dealings of the Trump Foundation
- Potential conflicts of interest between Kushner’s business actions and affairs of the state
- Payments the Trump Organization received from foreign sources
- Russian intervention with state voting systems
According to Mother Jones, a Democratic staffer on the committee believes that “(they) could follow up on any and all items on this list.”
Ostensibly, the Democrats can now make these requests, known as “oversight letters” in concert with a threat of a subpoena.
It goes further. Also in September, a top Democrat published a 38-page summary on the Democrats’ attempts to “Document the Failings of the Trump Administration.”
This document is important because it could be a fair indicator of how the Democrats will act moving forward. Consider it a summary of what they’re into, and what they may pursue. The aforementioned report makes note of all the times that the Democrats sent oversight letters, but were ignored by the Republicans. Numbering around 140 over a 22-month period, the list is fairly grim reading, it’s enough to send a jolt up the spine of Trump’s America even if it’s not enough to remove the head. They might not have the power to topple him, they certainly could ruin his standing with the public, and therefore would doom any hope for re-election.
The summary particularly references:
- AG Jeff Sessions’ “inaccurate” congressional testimony about his pre-election contacts with Russian officials and his post-election judicial disqualification from the Russian investigation
- Sessions’ reversal of Justice Department criminal justice reform initiatives
- Ivanka Trump’s business affairs and potential conflicts of interest
- Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey
- Payments received by Michael Cohen when he was Trump’s personal attorney
- Hush money Cohen paid to porn star Stormy Daniels (particularly as Cohen maintained that Trump had been part of a criminal conspiracy)
- Trump’s income tax returns