House Democrats have launched a wide-ranging investigation into President Trump that some say could ultimately lead to impeachment. It could also dog the president all the way through the 2020 election cycle, affecting not only him but other Republican candidates.
On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced the beginning of a probe into possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.
His panel sent document requests to 81 people connected to the president and his associates.
They include: executives in the president's real estate companies, administration officials, and members of his inaugural committee. Family members, including sons Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, were also targeted.
In addition, the committee is asking the FBI and Justice Department for documents on possible pardons for Michael Cohen, the president's former personal lawyer. The Wall Street Journal reports that one of Cohen's attorneys approached Trump's lawyers about a pardon but was turned down.
The committee also wants documents on hush money payments Cohen arranged during the campaign to two women who alleged sexual encounters with Trump.
Nadler is asking for most of the responses by March 18th and says they're a way to "begin building the public record."
On MSNBC Monday night, he said, "Our job is to protect the rule of law in this country" and added "we're talking about a situation where for two years, the Republican Congress did no oversight on the administration, none."
Another probe will examine private conversations between the president and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It's all part of a Democratic strategy to flood the White House with requests and keep the president on trial in the public eye right up until the 2020 election.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) acknowledged the political motives on CNN and predicted the probe could last for another two years. "I hope we get something done besides investigations aimed at impacting the next election," he told CNN's Jake Tapper.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the probes a "fishing expedition."
The president says Democrats are terrified that their Russia collusion case is crumbling.
He told a CPAC crowd over the weekend, "They don't have anything with Russia. There is no collusion. So now, they go into 'let's inspect every deal he's ever done'."
Although the special counsel's Russia investigation is winding down, these new probes signal a Democrat strategy of distracting the White House and its resources through the election season.