The Showoff Between Congress and the Executive Branch: The Basic Facts

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The Showoff Between Congress and the Executive Branch: The Basic Facts

John Sutter, Writer

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On the left is President Donald Trump. Right is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler.

All of this goes back to two things: the Mueller Report and Trump not releasing his tax returns. The Mueller Report left many questions unanswered. There are two committees to look at here. The first is the House Judiciary Committee whose chairman is Jerry Nadler and the second is the House Ways and Means Committee which is chaired by Richard Neal.

What The Judiciary Committee wants

Nadler has asked for the unredacted Mueller Report to be released to them.  Attorney General Barr has offered to give Democratic leaders an even less redacted copy, but Nadler still insists he needs the full report. At this point, that issue is at an impasse.

  They have also asked White House Council Don McGhan to testify and bring documents. Don McGhan was of course featured in the Mueller report as a person who ignored Trump’s order to do something illegal, possibly saving both of them from further legal problems. He is being blocked by the White House from bringing the requested documents to Congress. McGhan said he wouldn’t do anything until the issue is resolved. On this issue too, there is an impasse.

They also want to Mueller to testify at a later date. It is unclear when that will be.

What The Ways and Means Committee Wants

Neal has issued subpoenas for Trump’s tax return and financial records about Trump’s business dealings from banks that Trump owes money too. The tax returns are because it was pretty standard for Presidential candidates to give the public their tax return. Trump’s move not to do this was eye-raising. So Neal is trying to see what if anything Trump is hiding. The records from the banks are also to see what if anything Trump is hiding about his business.

Conclusion

Expect court battles on this issue. Trump is fighting the subpoenas as much as he can, but David Brooks said he thought the Democrats were standing on a stronger legal argument, so keep a close eye on this.