House Democrats are pursuing a strategy to force Republicans to take repeated votes on whether to investigate President Trump’s ethics and alleged ties to Russia.
The Democrats failed Tuesday evening as the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee rejected such an investigation. A party-line vote ended a long day of wrangling, barely two hours before the president took the rostrum in the House chamber for his address to Congress.
Democrats say their strategy is aimed at keeping a parliamentary spotlight on the president’s ethics issues and other controversies. Republicans hold clear majorities in the House and Senate and control the agenda.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has said she wants to push for a vote every week on a resolution that would force disclosure of Trump’s tax returns between 2006 and 2015. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., has already gone down on party-line votes in the Ways and Means Committee and on the House floor. Senate Democrats have a companion measure.
The Democratic resolution of inquiry defeated Tuesday in House Judiciary would have directed the Justice Department to give the House its records on four issues: Trump’s business empire; the revocable trust that allows him to maintain ownership; possible conflicts of interest arising from foreign money going to his businesses; and alleged links between people around Trump and Russian operatives.