House democrats dream of oversight bonanza after midterms – the boston globe electricity physics ppt


Democrats on several committees rattled off lists of targets they’re eager to investigate, from more on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections to allegations of obstruction of justice against the president to Trump’s immigration policies.

The president’s long-hidden tax returns? Those would be swiftly demanded by the Ways and Means Committee, according to Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the committee’s ranking Democrat. Lavish taxpayer spending at Trump-owned properties? Prepare for Democrats on the Oversight Committee to quiz officials about how much Americans are paying for the president and his entourage to dine, stay, and golf at properties he owns, as well as probing whether the Trump family is still actively involved in managing the properties that are in a trust.

The now-closed House Intelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election and any Trump campaign ties to it? That would be promptly revived, while the Judiciary Committee would likely haul in Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen to explain the hush payments he made to Stormy Daniels during the campaign.

Trump’s family won’t be off limits, either: All House Judiciary Democrats signed onto a letter to the White House last year asking Ivanka Trump to recuse herself from “particular matters affecting her financial interests.” Lawmakers would also likely revive questions about the emoluments clause and whether the president is violating it by accepting money from foreigners at the properties he owns while serving as president. And that’s not counting the multiple hearings Democrats would want to hold to examine the president’s policy choices — from separating families at the border to the strategy in Afghanistan.

November’s vote could change all that. Should they take the majority, Democratic lawmakers would have the power to propel old Trump scandals, forgotten in the tornado of news generated by the president, back into the spotlight. Staff attorneys will scour administration documents, looking for conflicts of interest and improprieties.

Drew Littman, the former Democratic staff director for a House Oversight subcommittee, said if he worked in the White House, he would be warning the president at least twice a week about the “huge vulnerability” he would face if Democrats took the House.

The prospect is frightening to Republicans, some of whom are not sure the president realizes just how high the stakes of the midterms are for him personally. Most political experts predict at this point that Democrats will take a narrow majority in the House in November while Republicans will hang onto control of the Senate. That leaves little prospect for bipartisan legislation the president would sign — but lots of time for investigations and hearings.

Representative Peter King, a Republican from New York, said he hoped the president understood the stakes of a Democratic takeover, saying it’s a “big deal” and comparing it to when the GOP took over the House in the ’90s and eventually impeached Bill Clinton. King suggested Trump should show more party loyalty as part of the bid to retain House control.

Michael Steel, a GOP consultant and onetime spokesman for former House speaker John Boehner, said Democrats controlling the House would be “really, really, really bad” for the White House. Democrats would create “a nonstop, 24-7 media spectacle around investigations into the Trump administration,” he said, which he said would likely lead to an impeachment vote.