After six months in power, House Democrats have issued a series of high-profile subpoenas as part of their sprawling investigations into President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator: White House has ‘used cruelty to children’ as a tool of immigration policy Amash: ‘High-level’ Republicans privately thanked me for supporting Trump impeachment UN official: US can’t ignore that climate change will force 120 million people into poverty MORE and his administration.
Democrats have gone after key figures like former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have ‘no choice’ but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE as well as top-level administration officials, both current and former, as they seek to obtain documents and compel testimony.
The White House has fought back against those oversight efforts, intervening in multiple cases by blocking Trump officials from providing testimony or documents related to their time in the administration and claiming immunity for senior advisers.
Here are the key individuals, entities and documents subpoenaed by House committees as part of their multi-pronged investigations into Trump, his administration and his businesses.
Democrats spent weeks negotiating with the former special counsel as they sought his public testimony following April’s release of his Russia report. But two top committees eventually resorted to subpoenaing Mueller.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler apologized after repeatedly calling Hope Hicks ‘Ms. Lewandowski’ at hearing Hope Hicks: Trump campaign felt ‘relief’ after WikiLeaks released damaging info about Hillary Clinton House hearing marks historic moment for slavery reparations debate MORE (D-N.Y.) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHere are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes GOP strategist praises El Salvador’s president for taking blame for migrant deaths Salvadoran president: ‘It is our fault’ migrant father and daughter drowned in Rio Grande MORE (D-Calif.) jointly announced last month that Mueller will testify publicly before the two panels on July 17. His appearance is expected to be a major spectacle on Capitol Hill, possibly rivaling some of the biggest hearings in congressional history.
While Mueller has stated he will discuss matters beyond his 448-page report, Democrats are still buzzing with anticipation and hope that the former FBI chief will reveal aspects of the president’s conduct — particularly episodes examined for possible obstruction — as laid out in Mueller’s Russia report.
In late April, Nadler went after Don McGahn, subpoenaing the former White House counsel to turn over documents and appear for a public interview.
McGahn, however, defied the subpoena by following a White House instruction that he not testify. He also did not provide the panel with the requested documents.
Democrats view McGahn as a crucial witness, particularly because of his testimony to Mueller on Trump’s potential obstruction of the Russia investigation. Nadler has said the committee would look to “enforce” the subpoena even if it means going to court.
The White House has argued that McGahn and other top advisers are “absolutely immune” from compelled congressional testimony about their time in the West Wing — an argument that may soon be tested in court.
Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksHere are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes McGahn subpoena fight to test limits of executive ‘immunity’ Pavlich: Nadler’s intimidation tactics backfire MORE
Amid an already exacerbated fight with the White House, Nadler subpoenaed former White House communications director Hope Hicks on May 21st to testify before his committee and provide documents.
Hicks, who also worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign, agreed to testify behind closed doors for a transcribed interview in late June, making her the first big witness to appear on Capitol Hill amid the Democratic probes.
But the White House instructed Hicks not to turn over specific documents or discuss her work as it related to her time in the Trump administration.
White House lawyers who accompanied Hicks during her interview repeatedly blocked her from answering certain questions, according to a released transcript of her interview, further fueling Democrats’ accusations that Trump is obstructing their probes. Hicks did, however, discuss her time on the Trump campaign.
Annie Donaldson, McGahn’s former chief of staff, was subpoenaed on the same day as Hicks. And the White House gave her the same instructions: Don’t discuss — or provide records — anything relating to your time in the administration.
Nadler announced last month that Donaldson has agreed to testify in person, in November, about the key events she observed while serving in the Trump administration. The deadline for her testimony was extended due to a pregnancy that makes it difficult for her to travel or testify for long periods of time.
Under the agreement, Donaldson must also provide written answers within a week of receiving them from the committee.
In mid-June, Schiff issued a subpoena for Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser who ultimately went on to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.
Schiff has demanded that Flynn, who worked on Trump’s campaign before briefly serving in the administration, provide “documents and other materials” by June 26 and appear before the committee for sworn testimony on July 10. The panel has not said whether Flynn met the June 26 deadline. Any testimony would likely take place behind closed doors.
In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. and agreed to cooperate in Mueller’s investigation. He has not yet been sentenced.
Schiff separately subpoenaed Rick Gates, stating that he had no choice but to compel the former Trump campaign aide to turn over documents and provide testimony because he had refused to cooperate with the committee voluntarily.
Gates, who served as Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, received his subpoena on the same day the committee issued a congressional order for Flynn. The panel also set the same deadline for Gates — June 26 for documents and July 10 to provide sworn testimony. It’s not clear if the first deadline was met.
Gates, who pleaded guilty in February 2018 to making false statements and to a conspiracy charge, agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe. He is still cooperating with the government and has yet to be sentenced.
Schiff issued a subpoena for Felix Sater in late June after the president’s onetime business associate did not appear for a scheduled closed door interview with the panel.
The committee had requested Sater’s testimony as part of its Russia investigation. In particular, Democrats on the panel wanted to question Sater about his involvement in discussions to build a Trump real estate property in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. The plans never came to fruition, but the talks still attracted scrutiny by Mueller.
Sater’s attorney, Robert Wolf, said in a June 21 statement that Sater was prevented from appearing due to “unexpected health reasons.”
Deutsche Bank, Capital One
Schiff and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersHere are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes Hillicon Valley: Facebook tries to ease concerns over cryptocurrency | Democrats ask company to halt plans | Instagram photos hit by glitch | Court rules Amazon liable for third-party sales | UK to study internet giants’ market power Head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project vows to work with regulators, lawmakers MORE (D-Calif.) issued separate subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Capital One in mid-April, as part of a joint effort to obtain Trump’s personal and business financial records from his longtime lender.
Trump responded by suing the financial institutions in an effort to prevent them from providing the documents covered by the subpoenas. But a federal judge in New York delivered a blow to the president in May by ruling that the two banks can provide Trump’s financial records to House Democrats. Trump quickly filed appeals in both cases.
Oversight and Reform Committee
Cummings in early April issued a subpoena to White House Personnel Security Director Carl Kline seeking to compel his testimony after a whistleblower came forward with allegations about the administration’s security clearance process.
The whistleblower, Tricia Newbold, told committee staff that her higher-ups at the White House overruled her and other career officials more than two dozen times by granting clearances to administration officials and contractors despite concerns about “disqualifying issues” in their backgrounds.
Cummings also issued a subpoena to Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore in early April as part of the committee’s investigation into why the Trump administration wants to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The Commerce and Justice Departments announced Tuesday the government would move forward with printing census materials without the citizenship question – a statement Trump contradicted Wednesday, sowing confusion about whether it would appear on the decennial survey. Later on Wednesday, a lawyer with the Department of Justice said agency officials have been ordered to determine whether there is a way the administration can still include a citizenship question on the census. The matter has yet to be resolved.
The drama followed a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court that the question could not be added for the time being.
Cummings issued the subpoena for Gore on April 2, the same day the committee separately sent orders for Kline.
The committee said it will hear from Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham on July 24.
Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayHere are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes Here are the top paid White House staffers The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump touts handshake with Kim, tariff freeze with Xi MORE
Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCities lead crackdown on facial recognition tech Here are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes Facebook finds itself dragged into border controversy MORE (D-Md.) issued a subpoena for Kellyanne Conway in late June, after the White House counselor did not appear voluntarily at a hearing focused on allegations that she ran afoul of the Hatch Act.
The committee voted largely along party lines to authorize the order to compel her testimony, which was issued on the same day as the vote, a committee spokesperson confirmed.
Last month, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) sent a report to Trump that said Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act by discussing Democratic presidential candidates while appearing as a White House official for television interviews. The Hatch Act bars federal officials from using their positions to advocate for certain candidates.
When Democrats pressed to interview her, the White House intervened, blocking Conway from appearing for public testimony and citing a “long-standing precedent” in which presidential administrations decline requests to have presidential advisers give congressional testimony.
Cummings issued a subpoena in mid-April seeking the president’s financial records from the accounting firm Mazars.
A district judge later upheld the congressional subpoena for the records, delivering a blow to the president. Trump’s lawyers have filed an appeal, which will be decided by a three judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 12.
The House Judiciary and Intelligence committees are waging high-profile battles with the Justice Department for the full Mueller report.
Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrPeter King: Improper behavior by FBI officials ‘going to come out’ Here are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes Democrats test limits of oversight powers on Trump MORE, who has been subpoenaed by the Judiciary Committee for the documents, has resisted releasing grand jury material from the report to Congress, noting federal law mandates its secrecy in the absence of a court order.
Schiff has also requested access to Mueller’s full unredacted report, its underlying evidence, and counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials generated in the course of the 22-month investigation.
While neither chairman has obtained the full report, the Judiciary panel reached an agreement with the Justice Department to receive underlying evidence on obstruction, and the department has begun producing counterintelligence and foreign intelligence files to the Intelligence panel.
Trump’s tax returns
The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in mid-May subpoenaed Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHere are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes On The Money: GOP raises concerns about White House plan to avoid shutdown | Trump pushes Fed to weaken dollar | Trade deficit spikes | Dow, S&P, Nasdaq set record highs Senate GOP raises concerns about White House stopgap plan to avoid shutdown MORE and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to turn over six years of Trump’s tax returns.
Mnuchin and Rettig, however, did not comply with the congressional order, prompting Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealHere are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes Political victory for Democrats in Trump tax return lawsuit hinges on timing The Hill’s Morning Report – Sanders falters as rivals rise MORE (D-Mass.) to file a lawsuit Tuesday over their refusal, igniting what could become a lengthy court battle.
Cummings also subpoenaed Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHere are the key figures subpoenaed by Democrats in Trump probes Officials cancel holiday plans in scramble to find path for census citizenship question: report Our citizenship counts — and now becomes an issue in the 2020 elections MORE for documents related to the administration’s desire to include the citizenship question in the 2020 census.
Barr and Ross did not comply, and the Oversight Committee voted largely along party lines to hold the two Cabinet members in contempt.
“The Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce must now turn over all of the documents our Committee has subpoenaed on a bipartisan basis,” Cummings said Tuesday.