With a Republican majority in Congress, many Democrats fear that their plans to investigate President Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia and his failure to completely break from his real estate empire will never be fulfilled.
While the House Intelligence Committee has allegedly begun to investigate Russia’s reported involvement with Trump’s campaign, Democrats are concerned that the president’s business ties still represent a conflict of interest, warranting a probe into the matter.
With that concern in mind, Democratic lawmakers decided to put together a resolution that would force the disclosure of Trump’s ties with Russia and his business. If the resolution hadn’t been assigned to a committee, then Democrats could have presented it on the floor for a full House vote. Fearing this would be the case, House Republicans decided to send the proposal to the House Judiciary Committee with the help of Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). The resolution will be subject to a panel vote and, according to Politico, Republicans are expected to kill the proposal in the committee.
Scheduling the vote on Tuesday, Politico adds, makes it easier for Republicans in Congress to bury the story since Trump will be addressing lawmakers that same day for the first time.
But if for some miracle the resolution passes by a committee vote and is presented to the full House, government agencies may be forced to give lawmakers private records down the line, allowing for Washington to investigate Trump’s alleged conflicts of interest.
Nadler said he plans on asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to hand over “any document, record, memo, correspondence or other communication” being reviewed in “criminal or counterintelligence investigations” associated with Trump or any members of his staff and business to Congress. But if the resolution does not see the light of day, this request won’t be heading to Sessions’ desk any time soon.
To the Republicans in the Judiciary Committee, saying no to the resolution may prove complicated since many conservative lawmakers are already under great scrutiny over accusations of steering the agenda to protect the president. Rep. Jason Chaffetz is one of them. Recently, he suffered a great deal of attacks for failing to investigate Trump’s tax returns.
Despite the bleak outlook, there might still be a chance that Republicans in the committee reviewing this resolution will fear backlash for killing it. And that might be the only hope for critics of the Trump presidency. If committee Republicans decide to pass the resolution, these issues will have a chance of being addressed by Congress.
Regardless of how this ends, the public may still discuss these matters and make some noise on their own, bringing attention to Trump’s business ties in different ways.
Across the country, activists have been holding rallies and several other events to protest Trump’s policies. With some commotion online, Americans could be able to organize similar protests to press Congress to investigate this matter, thus catching the media’s attention and forcing the nation to start a much-needed debate.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Joshua Roberts