Last week, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced a Resolution of Inquiry in the House of Representatives. The resolution directs the DOJ via it’s new leader Jeff Sessions, to provide the House with any and all information relevant to an inquiry into President Trump and his associates’ financial conflicts of interest and Russia ties. This could be the first concrete step towards impeachment.
A Resolution of Inquiry is a legislative tool whereby the House seeks information from the Executive Branch. Once introduced in the Committee there has to be debate and the Committee must vote on the Resolution. The Committee can report the Resolution “unfavorably” after voting on the Resolution in order to prevent it from going to the floor. Otherwise, it can be raised for a vote before the full House if the relevant Committee does not report it within fourteen legislative days from the Resolution’s introduction.
The introduction of the Resolution of Inquiry will force Republicans to debate their role in holding Trump accountable for his potential business conflicts and possibly force every member of Congress to vote on the issue. If the resolution were to come to the floor of the House, Nadler said Republicans would likely move to table it, which means, “every Republican will have to vote, in effect, on whether or not to abdicate their responsibility to have oversight.”
The full text of the Resolution of Inquiry can be found here.
“Democrats have repeatedly asked the Majority, in letters to Chairman Goodlatte and Speaker Ryan, to investigate these ongoing conflicts of interest, and those requests have been ignored,” said Congressman Nadler. “Donald Trump has refused to step away from his business interests in any meaningful way, his foreign entanglements are likely unconstitutional, he has repeatedly refused to disclose his financial assets, and he is clouded by the specter of Russian intervention in the election and his Administration. Republicans have shown zero willingness to follow through on their duty to conduct oversight, and they must be held accountable if they are truly willing to abdicate this constitutional obligation and must be made to answer to the American people for that failure. We must know what the Department has learned about the Administration’s connections to the Russian government. We must review the Department’s legal analysis—if there is any—of the President’s feeble attempt to remedy his wide-ranging ethics problems. We must conduct oversight of the least transparent Administration in modern history. This resolution represents a start.”
Congressman Nadler’s Resolution of Inquiry follows two formal requests sent to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte for hearings into federal conflict-of-interest and ethical provisions that may apply to the President, as well as a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan asking for any information needed to evaluate Donald Trump’s financial entanglements for conflicts of interest and constitutional violations and ties between Russia and the President, his advisors, or his businesses.