House Republicans next week plan to derail a Democratic resolution that would have forced disclosure of President Donald Trump’s potential ties with Russia and any possible business conflicts of interest, according to multiple House sources.
Seeking to avoid a full House vote on the so-called “resolution of inquiry” — a roll call that would be particularly embarrassing and divisive for the right — Republicans will send proposal by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to the House Judiciary Committee for a panel vote on Tuesday, two Democratic sources said. The GOP-controlled committee is expected to kill the resolution.
Without committee action, obscure parliamentary procedures would allow Democrats to call the resolution to the floor for a vote by the full House. But rejection by the Judiciary panel all but assures the measure will never see a floor vote.
“Unless the resolution is reported by the committee within 14 legislative days, either favorably, unfavorably or without recommendation, then it can be brought up on the House floor immediately thereafter, so the committee plans to address this resolution next week,” said one House Judiciary Committee aide in a statement.
Resolutions of inquiry are rare in Congress and privileged, meaning lawmakers can circumvent leadership and force action on the floor if they’re ignored for 14 legislative days.
The resolutions can force presidents and agencies to give Congress private records. Nadler’s, for example, demands that Attorney General Jeff Sessions hand over to the Hill “any document, record, memo, correspondence or other communication” pertaining to “criminal or counterintelligence investigations” related to Trump, White House staff or his business.
Democrats have blasted Trump for failing to make a clean break from his real estate empire, accusing him of being vulnerable to conflicts of interest. They also are suspicious of his campaign’s relationship with Russia. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that top Russian officials orchestrated interference into the 2016 presidential election on Trump’s behalf.
The House Judiciary Committee is chaired by Bob Goodlatte, who has ignored requests by committee Democrats to schedule hearings on Trump’s conflicts of interest. If Goodlatte and the other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee vote to block the disclosure to Congress of information on Trump’s conflicts of interest and his campaign’s connections with Russian officials, all their claims to be interested in getting to the truth about these matters will be exposed for the shams they are.