The House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas on Wednesday for records regarding President Donald Trump’s alleged offer of pardons to Homeland Security officials who violate the law in a pre-election mad-dash to build his beloved border wall.
With his promised border wall nowhere near complete, Trump has reportedly been pushing hard for any kind of progress on the ground to buttress his re-election campaign. That reportedly includes musing about pardoning officials who break the law to get the slapdash job done. The President has also reportedly offered pardons directly to officials who he has ordered to continue with border wall construction.
The new subpoenas seek documents and communications from the Department of Homeland Security about any potential pardons for agency employees either for building the wall or for immigration enforcement.
The House panel is also demanding information about two meetings between Trump and Homeland Security officials in which he allegedly brought up pardons: a March 21 meeting between Trump and then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and an April 5 encounter between the President and Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. The panel is demanding notes or other accounts from both meetings.
House Judiciary is also seeking copies of any legal opinions or documents relating to the “legal obligations” of DHS employees in building the wall.
In a statement, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said that Trump’s “dangling of pardons” constitutes “another reported example of the President’s disregard for the rule of law.”
Nadler’s panel authorized the subpoenas on July 11.
The House Judiciary chair framed the subpoenas as part of his ongoing probe into whether his committee should recommend Trump’s impeachment. That investigation has come to encompass a swath of other alleged misconduct, including the allegations of obstruction of justice detailed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“As the Committee continues its investigation into whether to recommend articles of impeachment, it is imperative that we are able to obtain information about ongoing presidential misconduct and abuses of power,” Nadler said.
Nadler added that his committee plans on holding hearings on the matter throughout the fall, as part of its bid to investigate “obstruction of justice, public corruption, and abuses of power by the President.”