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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

House Democrats sail toward 2020 with many lines in the water

Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg,

Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland, in June. Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Paul Faith

Several recent news stories have stirred interest from Capitol Hill Democrats, adding to the topics they seek to explore with a possible impeachment in mind.

One involves Vice President Mike Pence's recent stay at the Trump golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland. Pence's chief of staff said the vice president stayed there at the president's "suggestion." President Donald Trump denied involvement. Pence has family in the area, but the resort sits three hours from Dublin, where his official meetings were to take place.

Self-dealing by the first family? Abuse of power? The answers aren't clear yet.

The same questions apply to Trump openly pushing for the next G-7 conference to take place at Trump National Doral in Miami. Democrats see him potentially drawing profits not only from U.S. taxpayer funds but from foreign governments.

Questions have also arisen about why certain military aircraft refuel near his Turnberry property in Scotland, NBC reported.

Still another fresh issue: Did Trump seriously offer subordinates "pardons" if they broke the law while rushing to build his desired border wall during his first term? The upcoming procurement and funding process for the barrier undoubtedly will draw legislative scrutiny.

The House Judiciary Committee under Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan) is meanwhile still in court attempting to get former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify.

Special counsel Robert Mueller reported on Trump's effort to get McGahn to help shut down the Russia investigation, and on McGahn's threats to quit because the president wanted him to do "crazy" things.

That relates to the question of whether Trump obstructed justice.

Last week, Politico reported that Nadler's fight to have McGahn ordered to appear will last at least until Oct. 31. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's court timetable is likely to squeeze House efforts to decide on impeachment before lawmakers depart for the year on Dec. 12.

Still lurking somewhere on the Trump-trouble scene is Stormy Daniels. She has said she's willing to testify before Nadler's committee when it hears about Trump's alleged role in hush-money payments to her and another woman just before the 2016 election.


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