House Democrats have opened an investigation into President Donald Trump to determine whether or not he lied to special counsel Robert Mueller during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. According to CNN, The House of Representatives’ general counsel Douglas Letter argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that investigators needed access to grand jury material collected by Mueller’s team.
“Did the President lie? Was the President not truthful in his responses to the Mueller investigation?” Letter asked, adding that the evidence seemed to show that the president may not have been honest in his dealings with investigators.
The “situation shows so clearly that there is evidence, very sadly, that the President might have provided untruthful answers and this is a key part of the impeachment inquiry,” Letter said.
Following admissions during Roger Stone’s trial earlier this month, for which he was found guilty of impeding investigations by trying to block witness testimonies and lying under oath, there has been a renewed focus on Donald Trump’s written answers provided during the investigation by Mueller and his team.
House investigators are arguing that they should be given access to grand jury material in order to determine whether the information that Trump provided was truthful as the impeachment investigation against the president heats up.
Mueller’s investigation resulted in a 448-page report detailing its inquiry into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. The report found 10 possible instances of obstruction of justice by Trump. However, at the time, Mueller didn’t recommend bringing charges against the president because the Justice Department policy prohibits it from doing so.
During Stone’s trial, former Trump campaign chairman Rick Gates testified that Stone and Trump discussed details about how to help his 2016 campaign for president. At the time, Stone was reportedly attempting to get information about documents stolen by WikiLeaks about Democratic sources.
Trump, however, has denied discussing WikiLeaks with Stone, though former campaign chair Paul Manafort also reportedly said under oath that Trump knew about the WikiLeaks situation.
House investigators were made aware of some of this information after the Mueller report was released. However, they haven’t had access to the grand jury transcripts, which could hold more information.
“Why wouldn’t the department favor giving this information because arguably it would show he did nothing wrong? The House would not want to return a charge where the evidence didn’t support it,” Judge Judith Rogers said.