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“Tomorrow, we will be issuing document requests to over 60 different people and individuals from the White House to the Department of Justice, Donald Trump, Jr., Allen Weisselberg, to begin the investigations to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power,” Nadler said on “This Week” Sunday.
On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the White House had received the committee's letter and during an event with the North Dakota State Bison football team later in the day, the president was asked if he would cooperate with Nadler's request.
“I cooperate all the time with everybody," Trump said. "And you know the beautiful thing: no collusion. It is all a hoax. You’re going to learn about that as you get older. It’s a political hoax, there’s no collusion."
On Sunday, ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Nadler, “Do you think the president obstructed justice?”
“Yes, I do,” Nadler said.
Earlier in the interview, however, Nadler said impeachment was “a long way down the road,” even after Michael Cohen’s public testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday, in which President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer accused the president of being “a racist,” “a conman,” “a cheat” and alleged the president was involved in an illegal act that’s not yet been reported.
In December, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison by a federal judge in Manhattan for various crimes including campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress.
Cohen told the committee Wednesday that he’s in “constant contact” with the Southern District of New York.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., asked Cohen if he was aware of “any other wrongdoing or illegal act ... regarding Donald Trump that” hadn’t been discussed yet in the hearing.
“Yes,” he said, “and again, those are part of the investigation that's currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York.”
“What we learned from the Cohen testimony is that he directly implicated the president in -- in various crimes, both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House,” Nadler said on “This Week.”
“We don’t have the facts yet. But we’re going to initiate proper investigations,” but not impeachment investigations.
“The Republicans spent two years shielding the president from any proper accountability ... [T]hey threatened to impeach people in Justice Department, they threatened the -- the Mueller investigation. It’s our job to protect the rule of law. That’s our core function. And to do that we are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption of -- into corruption and into obstruction of justice,” Nadler said.
Nadler said that there can be crimes that “there can be crimes that are impeachable offenses and impeachable offenses that are not crimes.”
During the hearing Wednesday, Cohen presented copies of two checks, each for $35,000, that he says were reimbursements for a $130,000 hush-money payment he made on behalf of the president to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has alleged that she had an affair with the president many years ago and was paid for her silence shortly before the 2016 election. Trump denies the affair.
One check presented was signed by Trump while he was in office, Cohen alleged.
“So let me make sure I understand Donald Trump wrote you a check out of his personal account while he was serving as president of the United States of America to reimburse you for hush money payments to Ms. Clifford?” Elijah Cummings, the committee’s chairman, asked.
“Yes, Mr. Chairman,” Cohen said.
The other check he showed was signed by the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.
The Trump Organization told ABC News that the president’s son had "no concept/idea" that he was signing a check to reimburse Cohen for the payment to Daniels. Donald Trump Jr. signed the $35,000 check as a trustee of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.
On “This Week,” Nadler said that an attempt “to sabotage a fair election would be an impeachable offense.”
“Is that what you saw?” Stephanopoulos said, asking if the campaign finance violation “like the one outlined against President Trump” qualified.
‘Well, we’ll see,” Nadler responded. “But we’re far from making decisions on that.”