WASHINGTON - A House panel is poised to vote Thursday, July 11, to subpoena 12 people with connections to President Donald Trump, including his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and former attorney general Jeff Sessions, as part of an ongoing investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice or otherwise abused his office.
The expected vote along party lines by the House Judiciary Committee is the latest escalation in a battle between the Democratic-led chamber and the White House over multiple probes of Trump and his administration, including whether the president sought to obstruct the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller.
"We will get answers one way or the other," Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement this week.
The Judiciary panel is also expected to vote Thursday to subpoena documents related to the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy on migrants entering the country illegally, which led to the separation of thousands of children from their parents in 2018.
The quest for information comes amid an intensified outcry over the treatment of children held in migrant detention centers and a debate over the humanitarian crisis caused by an influx of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States.
A little more than four months ago, Nadler's committee cast a wide net for documents from an array of 80 individuals and entities, seeking information on a range of inquiries into Trump's administration, campaign, business and personal finances.
Trump has decried House Democrats' probes as "harassment," has largely refused to comply with their requests and has urged associates to ignore subpoenas. Last month, Democrats voted to allow committees to file lawsuits against those who defy congressional subpoenas.
Thursday's expected vote would allow Nadler to issue the subpoenas at his discretion to try to compel testimony and handing over of documents. He has said he is willing to hold off if information is voluntarily provided.
In addition to seeking subpoenas for Kushner and Sessions, the committee is expected to vote to authorize Nadler to summon White House Chief of Staff John Kelly; former national security adviser Michael Flynn; former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein; former White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn; assistant attorney general Jody Hunt; and former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.
The committee is also seeking to compel testimony related to payments to women before the 2016 election who claimed to have had affairs with Trump years ago.
To that end, the committee is expected to authorize subpoenas of Keith Davidson, a former attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels; and National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard and American Media Inc. chief executive David Pecker. Prosecutors allege that both were involved in deals to silence Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal.
This article was written by John Wagner, a reporter for The Washington Post. The Washington Post's Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.