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House Democrats launch massive obstruction of justice and corruption probe aimed at Trump

They’ve requested documents from 81 people or entities. Here’s who they are.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), now chair of the House Judiciary Committee, in 2018
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), now chair of the House Judiciary Committee, in 2018.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

The House Judiciary Committee announced Monday that it is requesting documents from 81 people or entities as part of a probe into potential obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power by President Donald Trump and his associates.

It’s the first major move from the committee’s new chair, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and it should be taken seriously because the House Judiciary Committee would take the lead in any potential impeachment of President Trump.

Most of the document requests are targeted at people or entities that have come up connected to news coverage of the Russia scandal — some in areas that have resulted in charges from Mueller’s team, and others in areas that have not. Additionally, there is another set of requests aimed at surfacing potential corruption related to Trump’s business practices and the hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Trump.

Politico’s Andrew Desiderio and Darren Samuelsohn report that, according to a senior committee lawyer, “the document request was put together with sign-off from prosecutors in Mueller’s office and the Southern District of New York.”

You can read the full list — and, even more interestingly, the specific scope of each particular document request — at the House Judiciary Committee’s website. But below, I’ve organized the recipients of the document requests by topic, to provide a better sense of this investigation’s scope. (Note that some people fit into multiple categories — I’ve only listed each person once to avoid repetition.)

Trump’s business and family

The Judiciary Committee is focusing intensely on potential corruption related to the Trump Organization, and any potential inappropriate intrusion of business interests on government policy.

  • Entities: The Trump Organization, Trump Foundation, Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust
  • Family: Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Jared Kushner
  • Former executive and lawyer: Michael Cohen
  • Trump Organization executives: CFO Allen Weisselberg, COO Matthew Calamari, executive VP Ronald Lieberman, executive VP Rhona Graff (Trump’s longtime executive assistant)
  • Company lawyers (inside and outside the Trump Organization): Alan Garten, Sheri Dillon, Stefan Passantino
  • Son-in-law’s company: Kushner Companies

Trump’s 2016 campaign and transition

More than a dozen people who worked on or advised Trump’s presidential campaign at various points have been hit with document requests; the list is heavy on people whose names have come up in connection with the Russia investigation.

  • Entities: Trump campaign, Trump transition
  • Campaign managers: Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon
  • Technology and polling: Brad Parscale, Tony Fabrizio
  • Foreign policy advisers: Michael Flynn, J.D. Gordon, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos
  • Other campaign aides: Hope Hicks, Rick Gates, Michael Caputo
  • Early advisers: Roger Stone, Sam Nunberg
  • Transition adviser (who later advised a Russian oligarch’s company): Christopher Bancroft Burnham

Trump’s inauguration

The Trump inauguration is currently under investigation from federal prosecutors in New York, with its donations and spending both coming under scrutiny. The Judiciary Committee is asking for documents related to foreign influence from both the committee itself and its chair, Tom Barrack.

  • Trump inaugural: 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, Tom Barrack

The Trump administration

The Judiciary Committee is also asking for documents related to potential obstruction of justice from several government agencies and former administration officials:

  • US government: The White House, Department of Justice, FBI, GSA
  • Former White House officials: Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer
  • Former White House counsel’s office officials: Don McGahn, Annie Donaldson
  • Former national security advisers: K.T. McFarland, Tom Bossert
  • Former attorney general: Jeff Sessions

Trump’s legal team for the Russia investigation

Trump has had several lawyers coming and going from his legal team for the Russia investigation, but Democrats are particularly interested in two people related to potential obstruction of justice.

The first is Jay Sekulow, who’s still on the legal team, and who reviewed Michael Cohen’s false statements about the Trump Tower Moscow before Cohen submitted them to Congress. The second is Mark Corallo, who had a brief stint as the legal team’s spokesperson but reportedly grew alarmed about potential obstruction of justice.

  • Lawyer: Jay Sekulow
  • Former legal team spokesperson: Mark Corallo

The Russia scandal, broadly defined

Next, Democrats are asking for documents from a broad set of individuals and entities that have come up in connection with the Trump-Russia scandal writ large.

Some of these people are connected to events or subjects that have already been the subject of charges by special counsel Robert Mueller or other prosecutors:

  • WikiLeaks and people who may have tried to contact them: WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Jerome Corsi, Randy Credico, Ted Malloch
  • Russian troll farm: Concord Management and Consulting
  • Trump Tower Moscow: Felix Sater
  • Tied to people charged in Mueller probe: Jason Maloni (Paul Manafort’s spokesperson), Michael Flynn Jr., Flynn Intel Group
  • Tied to Maria Butina: Paul Erickson, National Rifle Association

Then there are several other document requests focusing on topics that have been probed by Mueller or other investigators but have not yet resulted in any charges.

Hush money

Last but not least, the Judiciary Committee has requested documents in connection with the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, two women who alleged affairs with Trump, during the 2016 campaign.

  • National Enquirer’s parent company and executives: American Media Inc., David Pecker, Dylan Howard
  • Former lawyer for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal: Keith Davidson

For more on the Mueller probe, follow Andrew Prokop on Twitter and check out Vox’s guide to the Trump-Russia investigation.

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