Congressman Nadler Calls on Republicans to Hold President Trump Accountable Through Resolution of Inquiry into Conflicts of Interest, Ethics Violations, and Russia Ties

Feb 28, 2017 Issues: Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs/Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C. --Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee, held a press conference ahead of the House Judiciary Committee markup of his Resolution of Inquiry (H.Res. 111), which will be the first legislative item Members of Congress will have to vote on concerning an investigation of Donald Trump's conflicts and Russia ties.  Joined by other Democratic Members of Congress, Congressman Nadler called on Republicans to demand answers and hold the Trump Administration accountable for their actions. The Resolution of Inquiry, which is cosponsored by over 130 Members, directs the Department of Justice to provide the House of Representatives with any and all information relevant to an inquiry into President Trump and his associates’ conflicts of interest, ethical violations—including the Emoluments Clause—and Russian connections.  

Below is the full text of Congressman Nadler’s remarks, as prepared:

“I am Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and I am proud to stand here with my colleagues in support of the Resolution of Inquiry, H.Res. 111, which will be marked up today in the Judiciary Committee.  This resolution covers two broad areas of concern: President Trump’s breathtaking web of business entanglements, which he has refused even to disclose, and the close relationship he and his aides appear to have with Russia. 

“We are here today to demand answers.  We are here today in search of the truth.  We are here today to find out where our Republican colleagues stand on these issues.  Will they stand with the American people who demand answers?  Or will they bow down to the Trump Administration and refuse to hold them accountable for their actions?  Well, today, we will have a debate and a vote, and we will find out.

“The American people have many, many questions about Donald Trump – about his connections with Russia, about his business ties, and about his potential conflicts of interest.

“Is Donald Trump already violating the Constitution?  Is he accepting payments from foreign powers – so-called emoluments – without the consent of Congress?  Did Donald Trump’s campaign collude with Russia to intervene in our elections or to hack the DNC?  We know the Russians broke our law to intervene in our election to try and rig the election in favor of Donald Trump.  We are told that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign.  What were they talking about?  Was the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians to illegally intervene in our elections?  Did the candidate know or approve of working with the Russians to rig an American election?  We must know the answers to these questions.

“Now, many of these questions are not new.  We have been asking them for months.  But so far we have heard nothing.  Nothing from the Trump Administration.  Nothing from the Attorney General.  And nothing from the Republicans in Congress.  Despite our repeated efforts to seek out the truth, our calls have fallen on deaf ears.

“Well, not anymore.  They can’t avoid us any longer.  Today, we will have a debate and a vote. Today, we will find out who wants to know the truth and who wants to bury their heads in the sand.  That is why this resolution is so important.  It will finally put Members of the House Judiciary Committee on the record.

“A Resolution of Inquiry is a simple, but important, tool to obtain information from the Executive Branch.  In this case, it directs the Department of Justice to provide the House of Representatives with any and all information it possesses related to any conflicts of interest, any ethical violations, and any improper ties to Russia by President Trump or his associates.  That is it.  A simple request for information. 

“The information we request is absolutely necessary for us to be able to conduct proper oversight of this Administration.  We need it so that we can do our jobs.  This should not be a partisan issue.  Members of the House should not object to a simple request for information.  In addition, since Attorney General Sessions, who was in the Trump campaign, has refused to recuse himself from any investigation, it is not clear that he could be impartial, or that he will even conduct an investigation at all.  Therefore, we must ensure that we in the House get access to any information the Department of Justice has so that we can do our own investigation.

“More than 130 Members have cosponsored this resolution.  We have gotten phone calls from tens of thousands of our constituents who support it, and I have received more than 837,000 signed petitions calling on us to pass it.  The American people want answers.  They want the truth.  The Judiciary Committee has a chance to help them get it.  I look forward to the debate and the vote.”

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