House panel to authorize subpoenas for Trump aides

KUSHNER: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is interviewed by Reuters at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., June 20.

WASHINGTON – The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee will consider authorizing subpoenas this week to compel testimony from a dozen current and former Trump administration officials, including Jared Kushner, as part of an intensifying investigation into President Donald Trump's conduct.

The panel will meet Thursday to consider resolutions to authorize subpoenas for individuals including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former White House chief of staff John Kelly, as it widens a probe that began in March of alleged obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power by Trump.

The House of Representatives committee will also consider subpoenas for documents and testimony relating to a separate probe of Trump immigration policies, including family separation.

Asked about the subpoenas following a meeting with Qatar's emir, Trump told reporters: "I don't know anything about it."

Up to now, the White House has sought to stymie committee investigators by directing former Trump aides, including former White House counsel Don McGahn, not to cooperate.

But Democrats, who control the House, are trying to break the administration's stonewalling effort by seeking to enforce congressional subpoenas in federal court.

The Judiciary Committee, which could launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump if it uncovered evidence of wrongdoing, is expected soon to file a lawsuit against McGahn this month over his refusal to testify before the panel in May.

Democrats believe a favorable ruling in such a case would significantly damage the White House's ability to insulate Trump from congressional investigations.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who would decide when to issue any authorized subpoenas, said in a statement that he was open to a "reasonable accommodation" allowing witnesses to cooperate voluntarily. "We will get answers one way or the other," he said.

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