Congressional panel launches sweeping probe into Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference annual meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill Maryland

The investigation was subsequently taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is expected to end his investigation and report his findings to Attorney General William Barr in coming weeks.

"We have sent these document requests in order to begin building the public record", Nadler said in a statement.

"The House Judiciary Committee has launched a road map to impeachment and set in motion unlimited, unrestrained harassment of Trump associates", said one official who served on the 2016 Trump campaign.

The information gathered by the Judiciary Committee, along with that in the yet-to-be-released report by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump campaign links to Russian Federation and obstruction allegations, could form the basis of impeachment proceedings against Trump.

The probe comes following mid-term elections in the U.S. that gave Democrats a majority over Trump's Republicans in the House.

And previous year, the White House announced that it would stop the practice of regularly issuing readouts of phone calls between Trump and foreign leaders, which means the public has no idea how often he speaks with Putin by phone. They include former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump adviser Roger Stone, and former lawyer Michael Cohen.

The list of 81 names touches on all parts of Trump's life - his businesses, his campaign, the committee that oversaw the transition from campaign to the White House and the White House.

The new investigation also follows an announcement by the House intelligence panel that it is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election that brought Trump to power, and Trump's foreign business interests.

In a request sent to the White House, the committee asks for information surrounding former FBI Director James Comey's termination, communications with Justice Department officials, the Trump Tower meeting and multiple other matters.

The White House said its lawyers and "relevant White House officials" would review the Judiciary Committee's demand for documents and "respond at the appropriate time".

The list of document requests also includes the National Rifle Association and Trump's embattled charitable foundation, which he is shutting down after agreeing to a court-supervised process.

Past administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have said a president's ability to conduct foreign affairs requires an ability to shield both internal discussions and global negotiations from the reach of Capitol Hill.

The committee expects some people to produce right away, and others may eventually face subpoenas, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Shedding light on how partial the investigation would be, Nadler told ABC News before he issued the document requests that he's convinced that Trump has obstructed justice.

They say the first step is to initiate proper investigations, which were missing in the first two years of Trump's presidency, when his fellow Republicans controlled the House of Representatives.

"We're far from making decisions" regarding impeachment, Nadler said Sunday.

Mueller is investigating Russian intervention in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign conspired with Russia. "I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start - And only because I won the Election!" he wrote. Democrats say Cohen's testimony before the House Oversight Committee last week directly implicated Trump in various crimes including campaign finance violations. "Listen to exactly what he said". They said they intend to probe "the substance of any communications during in-person encounters and phone calls, the existence and contents of any documents related to the communications, what the effects of the communications have been on the nation's foreign policy, whether the president or anyone acting on his behalf have sought to hide those communications and whether the president or anyone acting on his behalf have failed to create records or mishandled those records in violation of federal law".

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