Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – President Donald Trump is in for a new world of pain as putative House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promises unrelenting oversight on the president a day after Democrats regained control of the House in the Nov. 6 midterms.
Pelosi pledged a new era of congressional scrutiny over Trump, brushing aside the White House’s unrealistic threats of political warfare if Democrats launch investigations into his business and political affairs.
“We have a constitutional responsibility for oversight,” said Pelosi. “This doesn’t mean we go looking for a fight. But it means that if we see a need to go forward, we will.”
The Democrats will take control of the House on Jan. 1, 2019 when the 116th Congress convenes. The lame duck 115th Congress is expected to do nothing significant until then. A split Congress where Democrats control the House and Republicns the Senate guarantees gridlock and ensures nothing meaningful can occur until the next Congress opens in January.
Incoming Democratic committee chairmen are itching to lead investigations into Trump’s tax returns; conflicts of interest from his business empire that violate the Emoluments Clause and collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign team in the 2016 presidential election.
Pelosi said committee chairmen will decide how to proceed and make their recommendations to the Democratic caucus.
“But you can be sure of one thing: when we go down any of these paths, we’ll know what we’re doing and we’ll do it right,” she said.
Trump, who has never faced opposition party control in Congress, will now be exposed to relentless accountability and oversight. It remains unknown how Trump will react shorn of utterly compliant Republican congressmen who protected all his actions.
“The American people have demanded accountability from their government,” tweeted Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) poised to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.Trump might not like it, “but he and his administration will be held accountable to our laws and to the American people.”
Other vocal Trump critics who will take over key House committees inlude Elijah Cummings at the House Oversight Committee; Adam Schiff of the Intelligence Committee; Maxine Waters at the Financial Services Committee and Richard Neal at the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Democrat-led committees will give Democrats the power to demand documents and testimony from White House officials involved in Trump’s campaign team and businesses, and to issue subpoenas.
“I plan to shine a light on waste, fraud, and abuse in the Trump administration,” said Cummings. “I want to probe senior administration officials across the government who have abused their positions of power and wasted taxpayer money, as well as President Trump’s decisions to act in his own financial self-interest.”
Neal said he will demand Trump’s tax returns from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Nadler’s committee will handle any effort to impeach Trump.
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