House Democrats target Trump-Putin talks, obstruction

House Democrats target Trump-Putin talks, obstruction
  • Clock-gray 03:39
  • calendar-gray 05 March 2019

Democrats in the U.S. Congress unleashed an unexpectedly sweeping series of demands in their investigations of President Donald Trump on Monday, seeking information about his communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin and documents from 81 sources in an obstruction probe, ONAreports citing Reuters.

The heads of the House of Representatives Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees wrote to the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking documents and interviews with personnel about Trump’s conversations with Putin.

The lawmakers expressed concern about media reports that Trump seized notes on at least one meeting with the Russian leader and tried to destroy records about those talks.

“These allegations, if true, raise profound national security, counterintelligence, and foreign policy concerns, especially in light of Russia’s ongoing active measures campaign to improperly influence American elections,” Chairmen Adam Schiff, Elliot Engel and Elijah Cummings wrote in their letter.

The White House pushed back against their demands, with a spokesman saying it was within the president’s constitutional authority to have “candid one-on-one conversations with foreign heads of state.”

“The president may choose to share, or not share the contents of those conversations publicly as such discussions – like all diplomatic discussions – are often sensitive in nature,” the spokesman said on condition of anonymity, urging the panels to respect Trump’s authority to conduct foreign policy.

The request for information about communications with Putin followed the powerful House Judiciary Committee’s demand for documents from a who’s who of Trump’s turbulent world, targeting 81 people, government agencies and other groups in a probe into possible obstruction of justice or abuse of power.

Faiq Mahmudov

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