Sources within the House have asserted that Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee plan to block a resolution for the U.S. Department of Justice to disclose any information it has regarding President Donald Trump's potential conflicts of interest and his campaign's alleged ties to the Russian government.
On Feb. 10, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York filed a resolution of inquiry asking the DOJ to provide Congress with all information pertaining to Trump's business interests and his campaign aides' communications with Russia during the presidential race, the New York Daily News reports.
Democratic lawmakers have blasted Trump for putting his business interests in control of his two eldest sons instead of a blind trust, while controversy over his campaign's relationship with Russia has flared up following the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn.
"Donald Trump has refused to step away from his business interests in any meaningful way, his foreign entanglements are likely unconstitutional, he has repeatedly refused to disclose his financial assets, and he is clouded by the specter of Russian intervention in the election and his Administration," Nadler said in a Feb. 9 statement.
The House Judiciary Committee must respond to a resolution of inquiry within 14 legislative days, otherwise the motion would be brought to a full floor vote. Having the GOP-majority in the House vote against the inquiry could prove a political liability for the party.
"Republicans have shown zero willingness to follow through on their duty to conduct oversight, and they must be held accountable," Nadler added.
Sources within the House have told Politico that GOP lawmakers plan to send the resolution to the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 28, where the panel's Republican majority is expected to strike it down.
"Unless the resolution is reported by the committee within 14 legislative days, either favorably, unfavorably or without recommendation, then it can be brought up on the House floor immediately thereafter, so the committee plans to address this resolution next week," said one anonymous House Judiciary Committee aide.
The timing of the planned panel vote will coincide with Trump's first address to Congress, also on Feb. 28.
Behind the scenes, House Democrats are reportedly accusing their GOP colleagues of attempting to bury the panel vote during what should be a news cycle dominated by the president's address.
One member of the Judiciary Committee and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, has faced mounting criticism for not pursuing investigations into the Trump administration.
On Feb. 14, Chaffetz announced that his committee would not investigate Flynn's communications with a Russian ambassador, the substance of which he had allegedly misled both Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI, The Hill reports.
"I think that situation has taken care of itself," Chaffetz said.