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- Democratic chairmen of three key House committees are probing any communications President Trump has had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- They are also looking into whether there were violations of federal records keeping laws.
- In a letter to the White House, the three chairmen said that the administration has so far been uncooperative, prompting the committees to expand their investigations.
WASHINGTON – The chairmen of three powerful House committees requested documents and information from the White House on Monday detailing all communications that President Donald Trump has had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The move to examine more areas of the Trump administration adds another investigation to the set of probes undertaken by the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
In a letter to White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, and Foreign Relations Chairman Eliot Engel wrote a list of demands for information to help understand the scope of Trump’s communications with Putin.
The letter makes several requests, including details of all of Trump’s discussions with Putin, in person and over the phone. They also ask for documents detailing any direction from the White House as it relates to abiding by the Federal Records Act.
“According to media reports, President Trump, on multiple occasions, appears to have taken steps to conceal details of his communications with President Putin from other administration officials, Congress, and the American people,” they wrote, referencing a Washington Post report. “The President reportedly seized notes pertaining to at least one meeting he held with President Putin and directed at least one American interpreter not to discuss the substance of communications with President Putin with other U.S. officials.”
The committee chairmen also wrote that the White House has failed to respond to past inquiries about whether Trump violated the Presidential Records Act. “As a result, we are now expanding our investigation,” they noted.
“These allegations, if true, raise profound counterintelligence and foreign policy concerns, especially in light of Russia’s ongoing active measures campaign to improperly influence American elections,” they wrote. “In addition, such allegations, if true, undermine the proper functioning of government, most notably the State Department’s access to critical information germane to its diplomatic mission and its ability to develop and execute foreign policy that advances our national interests.”
“Finally these allegations raise serious concerns that materials pertaining to specific communications may have been manipulated or withheld from the presidential record in direct contravention of federal laws, which require that Presidents and other officials preserve such materials,” they added.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.