Congressional investigations are “swirling around” President Trump at a time when Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is “believed to be ready to present the findings of his inquiry into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election”, says Ben Hoyle in The Times. On Monday, the congressional department in charge of impeachment, the House Judiciary Committee, made 81 document requests from people and organisations in Trump’s circle.
Jerrold Nadler, who has chaired the Committee since the Democrats seized control of the lower chamber last November, has asked the FBI and the Justice Department to turn over information collected by Mueller and prosecutors in New York as “part of a probe into possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power” by Trump and his associates, adds The New York Times.
In response, President Trump accused the Democrats of “presidential harassment”, and said they had effectively “fired the starting gun on the 2020 presidential campaign”. In a speech at the weekend he said Democrats were having to resort to this strategy because the “phoney” Mueller inquiry was “dying”.
Mueller’s final report “should present Congress with a clean choice: either the facts warrant impeachment of President Trump or they don’t”, says David Ignatius in The Washington Post. However, his report will land in a “polluted political landscape”, so it won’t. Instead, Democrats want investigations to continue, while Republicans are continuing their “ruinous campaign to investigate the investigators – further undermining public confidence in the FBI and intelligence community”.
Publication will also spark a “battle between the White House, the Justice Department and Congress” over how much of it should be made public, says Kadhim Shubber in the Financial Times – an outcome “that could help determine Trump’s political fate”.