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House panel widens Trump obstruction and abuse of power probe

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Both of Mr Trump’s son’s are on the list of requests

A US House panel investigating alleged obstruction of justice and abuse of power by the White House has sought documents from 81 people and groups.

The House Judiciary Committee released the names on Monday of aides to Donald Trump and his campaign, members of his family, his business and others.

Among those who received requests from the panel are Mr Trump’s sons, the FBI, the Trump Organization and Wikileaks.

It comes as the panel’s chairman called it “clear” that Mr Trump broke the law.

On Monday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said that it is the “obligation” of Congress to “provide a check on abuses of power” by the White House.

“Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms,” he said.

“This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts,” he continued. “That is exactly what we intend to do.”

In a brief statement on Monday, press secretary Sarah Sanders said: “The House Judiciary Committee’s letter has been received by the White House.”

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White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said they are reviewing the request

“The counsel’s office and relevant White House officials will review it and respond at the appropriate time.”

She did not reveal the names of any of the officials who have received letters from the Democrat-led committee.

A counsel for the House Judiciary Committee said in a phone call with reporters on Monday that document requests have been sent to 81 people and organisations.

The documents will be used by the committee to determine which witnesses to call to testify in the coming months, according to the official.

If they do not comply with the next few weeks, subpoenas will be issued.

Media captionTrump attacks his opponents in Maryland speech

Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, longtime Trump personal assistant Rhona Graff, former White House chief of staff John Kelly and ex-White House counsel Don McGahn are also on the list of names released by the committee.

On Sunday, Mr Nadler called it “very clear” that the president had obstructed justice.

“We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption and into obstruction of justice,” Mr Nadler said. “We will do everything we can to get that evidence.”

Democrats, who took control of the House of Representatives in January, have vowed to open investigations into the president and White House. More than five House committees are now investigating alleged Russia meddling efforts in 2016, the president’s tax returns and potential conflicts of interest involving Mr Trump’s family.

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