House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Wednesday said his panel had served a subpoena on the Department of Homeland Security to learn more about President Trump’s alleged promises of pardons to officials involved in building the border wall.
“The dangling of pardons by the president to encourage government officials to violate federal law would constitute another reported example of the president’s disregard for the rule of law,” Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement.
Last week, The Washington Post reported that the president has promised aides he’ll pardon them, should they need to break the law in order to fast-track border wall construction before Election Day 2020.
The president emphatically denied the reporting.
“Another totally Fake story in the Amazon Washington Post (lobbyist) which states that if my Aides broke the law to build the Wall (which is going up rapidly), I would give them a Pardon,” Trump tweeted. “This was made up by the Washington Post only in order to demean and disparage – FAKE NEWS!”
Despite Trump’s denial, Nadler said he wanted to learn more; the subpoena requires the production of documents related to meetings between the president and DHS officials where pardons were reportedly discussed.
The House committee said the subpoena “represents another step in the … investigation into obstruction of justice and abuses of power by the president as it looks to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment.”
In its story, The Post said Trump has encouraged aides during weekly meetings to expedite billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private land and disregard environmental rules to complete 500 miles’ worth of border wall first promised to voters in 2016.
Citing anonymous current and former White House officials, The Post reported Trump said he’d pardon aides should they need to break the law in order to complete the project. But one unnamed official said the president was joking when he suggested pardons.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.