Nov 12, 2018

Democratic hit list: At least 85 Trump investigation targets

Photo: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Now that they're set to assume control of the House, there are at least 85 topics that Democrats have said they'd target — or are expected to target —  in the forthcoming torrent of investigations and subpoenas to be directed at the Trump White House, according to Axios' reporting and analysis of members' public comments.

Between the lines: Don‘t expect everything all at once. Incoming House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff told "Axios on HBO" that each committee plans to prioritize what they view as the most pressing topics, which he says range from Trump's potential business dealings with Russia to where things currently stand with North Korea.

Jonathan Swan wrote in August that Republicans had already catalogued numerous oversight targets that Democrats had signaled, including:

  • President Trump’s tax returns
  • Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution's emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization
  • Trump's dealings with Russia, including the president's preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin
  • The payment to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. Stormy Daniels
  • James Comey's firing
  • Trump's firing of U.S. attorneys
  • Trump's proposed transgender ban for the military
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's business dealings
  • White House staff's personal email use
  • Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks
  • Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago
  • Jared Kushner's ethics law compliance
  • Dismissal of members of the EPA board of scientific counselors
  • The travel ban
  • Family separation policy
  • Hurricane response in Puerto Rico
  • Election security and hacking attempts
  • White House security clearances

And on Sunday night's "Axios on HBO," Schiff said that he wants to investigate Trump's targeting of the press — namely, The Washington Post and CNN.

  • And Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the incoming House Appropriations chair, said she'd like to investigate Trump's decision to initiate the Space Force — among a slew of topics already on Swan's list.

Worth noting: The House Oversight Committee had already blocked 64 subpoena requests submitted by Democrats as of September. Here's that list, minus those with target s outside the Trump administration.

  1. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services Withholding Documents on Trump Administration Child Separation Policy
  2. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Withholding Testimony on Census 2020 Citizenship Question
  3. Department of Veterans Affairs Withholding Documents Relating to Reports that Mar-a-Lago Members Influencing Department Decisions
  4. White House Withholding Report and Documents on Security Clearance Process Required by Law
  5. White House Withholding Documents on Revocation of John Brennan Security Clearance
  6. White House Withholding Documents on John Bolton Security Clearance
  7. State Department Withholding Documents on Retaliation
  8. Office of Personnel Management Refusing to Provide Briefing on Complying with Court Order
  9. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Withholding Documents on Medicaid Work Requirements
  10. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Withholding Documents on Scrubbing of Department Websites
  11. State Department Withholding Documents on Decision to Close Cyber Office
  12. Director of National Intelligence Testifying Before the Oversight Committee on the extent of the Russian Threat to Our Country and Our Elections.
  13. Department of Justice Withholding Documents About Refusal to Defend the Affordable Care Act in Court
  14. White House Withholding Documents on Contractor Wanted for Attempted Murder
  15. State Department Withholding Documents on Political Loyalty Lists
  16. Department of Health and Human Services Withholding Documents on Title X Family Planning Program Proposed Gag Rule
  17. Environmental Protection Agency Withholding Documents on Freedom of Information Act
  18. Steve Bannon Testifying Before the Oversight and Judiciary Committees About His Involvement with Law Enforcement Actions Before, During, and After the 2016 Election
  19. Commerce Department and Census Bureau Withholding Documents on Citizenship Question
  20. Department of Justice Withholding Documents on Request to Add Citizenship Question to Census
  21. Department of Justice Withholding Documents on Politicized Hiring Allegations for Immigration Judges
  22. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice Withholding Documents on Gag Order Against Whistleblowers
  23. White House Withholding Information on Chartered Flights
  24. White House Withholding Documents on Use of Private Email Accounts
  25. Department of Justice Withholding Documents on Improper Attempt to Classify Dana Boente Notes
  26. State Department and White House Withholding Documents and Testimony on “Cleaning” Out of Career Employees
  27. White House Withholding Documents on Rejected Security Clearance Application for NSC Deputy Robin Townley
  28. Department of Health and Human Services Withholding Documents on Effort to Strip Information from Women’s Health Website
  29. John M. Gore, the Acting Head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Testifying About the Trump Administration’s Decision to Add a Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census. 
  30. White House Withholding Documents on Security Clearances
  31. DHS Withholding Documents on Contract for Emergency Meals
  32. White House Withholding Information on Deadly Niger Ambush
  33. CBP Withholding Documents on Allegations of Sexual Assault by CBP Employees
  34. Agencies Withholding Identities of Regulatory Reform Task Force Members
  35. DOD Withholding Documents on Federal Response to Hurricanes
  36. HHS Withholding Documents on Collaboration with Right-Wing Group to Rescind Medicaid Freedom-of-Choice Letter
  37. DOI Withholding Documents on Reassignment of Employees
  38. DOJ Withholding Documents on Communications with White House on AT&T Time-Warner Merger
  39. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Withholding Response to Complaint
  40. USDA Withholding Documents on Communications with Corporate Lobbyists
  41. Trump Foundation Withholding Documents on Transfer of Assets to a Disqualified Person
  42. Jared Kushner for Testimony at Emergency Hearing on Conflicts of Interest and Security Clearances
  43. Trump Organization Withholding Documents on Foreign Payments
  44. DHS Withholding Documents on Russian Attacks Against States Before Election
  45. DHS Withholding Information from IG Report on Trump Muslim Ban
  46. White House and HHS Withholding Documents on Biased Refugee Report
  47. HHS Withholding Documents on Gag Order Against Whistleblowers
  48. Kushner Withholding Emails That Violate Presidential Records Act
  49. White House Withholding Documents on Security Clearance Suspensions
  50. Transition Team and DOJ Withholding Flynn, Jr.’s Security Clearance Documents
  51. White House Withholding Documents on Interim Security Clearances
  52. Flynn and Business Partners Withholding Documents on Middle East Nuclear Deal
  53. OMB Withholding Agency Downsizing Plans
  54. FDIC Withholding Documents on EPA Senior Advisor Banned from Banking
  55. White House Withholding Documents on Flynn’s Foreign Contacts
  56. White House Withholding Documents on Personal Email Use by Top Aides
  57. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Withholding Documents on Emails
  58. White House Withholding Documents on Hurricane Response
  59. Kushner Companies Withholding Documents on Alleged Housing Abuses
Other potential investigations
  • The findings so far of the Mueller investigation, which some House Democrats believe had been obstructed by prior House Intel leaders. (Washington Post)
  • Trump's use of pardon power. (Washington Post)
  • The sudden change in plans to construct a new FBI headquarters. (ABC)
  • Trump's involvement in hush payments to women alleging affairs. (WSJ)
  • The firing of Jeff Sessions and the appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting Attorney General. (ABC)
  • The White House's alleged stifling of the FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. (ABC)
  • The Interior Department's decision to expand mining and drilling on federal lands and what role industry played. (USA Today)
  • Allegations that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke threatened Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) with negative energy and public land policies after she voted against repealing Obamacare. (Politico)
  • Zinke's exempting of Florida from offshore drilling as a possible political favor to Gov. Rick Scott. (Politico)
  • Zinke's removal of references to humans' role in climate change from agency reports. (Politico)
  • Violations of the Hatch Act stemming from Zinke's appearance at a fundraiser while on an official trip. (Politico)
  • The EPA's siding with special interests on matters of public health. (The Hill)
  • Trump's politicization of the military. (AP)
  • Lack of consistent policy for civilian casualties. (AP)
  • Profitability of the Trump International Hotel in Washington and whether it's being used to violate the emoluments clause. (AP)
  • Administration policies on domestic terrorism. (AP)
  • Relaxing of regulations for for-profit colleges and limiting of student loan forgiveness. (WashPost)
  • Department of Education's rollback of Obama-era rules that expanded transgender students' access to school facilities. (Education Week)

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