“It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,” said Representative Jerry Nadler, whose committee would be responsible for starting impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Nadler said his committee would request documents beginning today from more than 60 people, including the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump jr, “to begin the investigations to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power”.
Nadler said the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller was insufficient, and that he and fellow Democrats in Congress believed the focus should be broader.
The interview follows the public testimony on Wednesday last week of Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who accused his former boss of telling multiple lies as a candidate and after taking office.
House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy responded by saying Nadler “decided to impeach the president the day the president won the election”.
McCarthy also criticised Cohen for failing in his responsibility as a lawyer to warn Trump against actions that could be illegal and said campaign violations “aren’t impeachable” crimes.
Meanwhile, Trump on Saturday took on Democrats’ newly announced platform for reducing carbon emissions, telling his most fervent supporters it smacked of socialism, which he said the US would never go for.
Trump said Democrats were “now embracing socialism”, pointing to the recently introduced Green New Deal and saying he would be happy to run against it in the 2020 presidential election. Democrats say the plan would help transform the US economy into one that is more just by promoting investments in clean energy programmes.
The deal calls for an overhaul in US energy consumption to convert to 100% renewable resources and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years.
Trump said under the plan, the US natural gas, coal and nuclear industries would be “completely abolished” and it would “remove every gas-powered car from American roads”.
Among its supporters is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who helped introduce the bill. dpa African News Agency