All Democrats on House judiciary, oversight committees demand investigation into Trump, White House

WASHINGTON -- The 33 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked their Republican chairmen to launch an "immediate joint investigation" into President Trump and his top officials Tuesday night after a report emerged that Mr. Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to drop his investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. 

As a part of this investigation, the Democrats requested the Oversight Committee schedule an immediate vote on a motion to subpoena the White House to produce all previously requested documents concerning Flynn, as well as an immediate public hearing with Comey. The letter also asked the committees to work to obtain copies of all Comey memos about Mr. Trump and any related agency and White House records, such as audio tapes and notes, that exist.

The Comey memo comes only 24 hours after revelations that the president relayed "inappropriate" information to Russian diplomats last week, the day after firing Comey.

"We are writing to request that the Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee launch an immediate joint investigation into whether President Donald Trump and his top officials are engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to obstruct the criminal, counter-intelligence, and oversight investigations currently being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and Congress into members of his presidential campaign and their contacts with Russian officials," the Democrats wrote in their Tuesday night letter. 

"Given the gravity of the events that have occurred over the past several weeks, there is simply no reasonable question that the Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee should already be conducting a robust investigation of these issues that includes public hearings, document requests, and interviews and depositions," the letter continued. "It is unacceptable to continue ignoring these scandals."

Democrats, who had already criticized the president after he fired Comey last week and after he shared possibly classified information with Russian diplomats the following day, stepped up their calls for a special prosecutor in the Russia investigation and raised the possibility of obstruction of justice. In a Tuesday night statement, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House oversight panel, called the Comey memo, "an explosive allegation, and it appears like a textbook case of criminal obstruction of justice."

In the letter, Democrats also expressed dismay that their Republican colleagues have been reluctant to dig into any ties between Russia and Mr. Trump's associates. 

Republican Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who last week called for Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to look into Comey's firing, on Tuesday suggested he may be open to subpoenas. He also wrote a letter to Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, requesting any records noting communication between Comey and the president.