President Trump likes to accuse House Democrats of trying to re-litigate the Mueller report via investigation and subpoena. But for every Mueller-report-related investigation, there are approximately one and a half non-Mueller-related congressional probes of Trump, his businesses and his administration. Congress is looking into his finances, his handling of hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico, and more.
Of course, even if you accept Trump’s premise that Congress is beating a dead horse on Russian interference in U.S. elections, it’s part of Congress’s job to pick up where special counsel Robert S. Mueller III left off. (Or, as in the case of the ongoing Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, to retrace some of his steps.) The Mueller report was necessarily narrow, looking specifically at whether any crimes were committed as Russia interfered in the 2016 election. It’s Congress’s job to fill in the picture.
Below are the questions congressional investigations are trying to answer, categorized into Mueller-related and non-Mueller-related. For more, The Washington Post’s Rachael Bade and Seung Min Kim have more details on 20 congressional investigations that Trump is blocking in some way. I have ranked the six most potentially damaging Trump investigations. Finally, here’s a regularly updated reader’s guide to the big fights between Trump and Congress.
Congressional probes that follow up on the Mueller report
1. What does the full, unredacted Mueller report say?
2. Did Trump obstruct justice?
3. What was the extent of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, from the Senate’s perspective?
4. Why did Attorney General William P. Barr frame the report in a flattering light for Trump?
5. What light can special counsel Robert S. Mueller III shed on the report and Barr’s handling of it?
6. Did Trump try to fire the special counsel and then order former White House counsel Donald McGahn to lie about it?
7. Is the FBI still investigating Trump’s ties to Russia (regardless of the end of the special counsel’s probe)?
8. Did Trump make any foreign policy decisions to enrich himself, specifically with his attempts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, or in his existing business ties with Saudi officials, to enrich himself?
9. Did Trump’s businesses have any money laundering ties, specifically related to Russia?
10. What did Trump say to Russian President Vladimir Putin in private, especially a meeting in Helsinki where he seized an interpreter’s notes from it and instructed the translator not to talk?
Probes that are totally unrelated to Mueller and Russia
1. Is there something damaging in Trump’s tax returns?
2. Did Trump inflate his net worth to get business deals or deflate it to avoid real estate taxes?
3. Did Trump lie about getting Jared Kushner a security clearance?
4. Did Trump play a role in illegal hush-money payments during the campaign to women alleging affairs with him?
5. How did the Trump administration come up with and carry out its policy to separate children from families at the border?
6. What was the deal with a Trump idea to bus migrants to his political opponents’ districts?
7. What was Trump aide Stephen Miller’s role in firing senior leaders at the Homeland Security Department?
8. What was the deal with a decision to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 Census?
9. How is Trump’s declaration that there’s a national emergency at the border legal?
10. Was the Trump administration’s response to Puerto Rico’s hurricane damage enough?
11. Why is the Trump administration proposing sharing nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia?
12. What’s the deal with Ivanka Trump and other White House officials doing official work on private email?
13. Why were U.S. diplomats left out of a meeting between Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?
14. What was Trump’s involvement, if any, in stopping the FBI from moving out of its aging headquarters?
15. Is Trump illegally benefiting from owning a hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.?
16. And what were the lease details of the Trump International Hotel with the federal government?
17. Why did the Trump administration decide to take the aggressive step of asking a court to completely invalidate Obamacare?