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Democrats Being Themselves

Conservatives wondering what the future holds for the upcoming 116th Congress should wonder no more and simply take Democrats at their word as to their plans. This means a very full agenda of harassing President Democrat LeadersTrump, pursuing conspiracy theories, raising taxes and restricting your freedom.

Don’t believe us? Here’s what the Democratic Party’s leaders have said they plan to do:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), who is widely expected to return as Speaker in the 116th Congress, declared Thursday that gun control will be a priority under the newly elected Democratic majority.

“I do believe, because in this Congress…there is bipartisan legislation to have common sense background checks to prevent guns going into the wrong hands. It doesn’t cover everything, but it will save many lives,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time" as the nation grapples with its latest mass shooting.

“This will be a priority for us going into the next Congress,” she added.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-7), who is expected to lead the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, plans to look at "all the things the President has done that go against the mandates of our founding fathers in the Constitution."

Cummings has sought to investigate whether President Trump’s foreign businesses violate the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, whether the administration followed protocols when it came to their employees' security clearances. Cummings has also accused Trump of being far more instrumental than first thought in the decision to keep the FBI headquarters in downtown Washington, DC, as opposed to moving it to the suburbs, a move Democrats argued was so that Trump could ensure another developer wouldn't buy it and build something that would compete with Trump's nearby hotel.

Rep. Cummings also said Trump's tax returns would "probably" be pursued as part of his panel's Emoluments investigation as well, predicting that the Democrat-controlled committees would coordinate their oversight efforts.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), who is expected to lead the Judiciary Committee next year, has already sent dozens of letters to the Administration on everything from the Trump administration's family separations on the Southern border to the rise of white nationalism to why the Justice Department has refused to defend the Affordable Care Act in a Texas court case.

Nadler, whose political fights with Trump stretch back decades over New York real estate politics, told CNN that his committee would probe many of those same issues they previously pressed Republicans to examine, including family separation, gun safety, environmental laws and the Justice Department's failure to defend the Affordable Care Act.

"He's going to learn that he's not above the law," Nadler said of Trump.

Nadler has also said he intends to use the power of his committee to investigate why the FBI did not do a more thorough job looking into the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process.

According to reporting by POLITICO, Nadler promised that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker would be the first witness newly empowered Democrats call to testify when they take control in January.

"Our very first witness on — after Jan. 3, we will subpoena Mr. — or we will summon, if necessary, subpoena Mr. Whitaker," Nadler (D-N.Y.) told CNN host Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."

Nadler has also said he and his colleagues will investigate the hush payments made by Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to two pornographic actresses with whom the president allegedly had affairs in the 2000s.

Those payments could constitute an impeachable offense, Nadler said, although he said it’s unclear whether the Democrats would actually pursue impeachment.

“You’d have to see ... how good the proof of that is, and secondly, what else there is, because the fact that an impeachable offense is committed, has been committed, does not mean necessarily there ought to be an impeachment,” Nadler said.

Nadler told Roll Call in a lengthy interview detailing his impeachment philosophy that he “certainly would not predict” an impeachment of the president.

Rep. Richard Neal (MA-1), the man expected to lead the House Ways and Means Committee, told CNN in October he plans to first ask Trump for them. If that fails, he will use an arcane IRS code to formally request them, a move that is expected to launch a months-long court battle.

Neal has refused to respond to press inquiries about any plans for changes to the Trump tax package, but other Democrats, including Rep. John Delaney (MD-6), are pushing a plan to increase the corporate rate to 23 percent to pay for infrastructure.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), who is expected to Chair the House Natural Resources Committee, has said he wants to bring Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke before his committee after reporting that the Department of Justice is investigating the secretary.

"Secretary Zinke will be called to testify in February on why his conduct in office merited referral to the Justice Department, whether that referral was related to the recent attempted firing of his inspector general, and his many other failures and scandals," Grijalva said in a statement reported by CNN.

Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28), who is likely to become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN there could be several key issues that might go unanswered that they can continue to probe, including potential Russian money laundering, Trump's financial ties to Deutsche Bank and the number Donald Trump Jr. called when he dialed a blocked phone the while arranging the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

"The question, though, that I don't know whether Mueller has been able to answer, because I don't know whether he's been given the license to look into it, is were the Russians laundering money through the Trump Organization?" Schiff told CNN's Wolf Blitzer last month. "And that will be a very high priority to get an answer to. For the reason that, if they were doing this, it's not only a crime, but it's something provable."

Rep. John Garamendi (CA-3), a senior member of the transportation committee, which has jurisdiction over government properties (the Trump hotel is in the former U.S. Post Office building), said the panel will investigate the Trump hotel, telling Bloomberg TV last week: “We have a constitutional responsibility. . . . Did the president receive money from a foreign government? Think Saudi Arabia. Think Kuwait.”

During the 2018 midterms Democrats sold themselves as a moderate party interested in “protecting the middle class” but what their leaders have said since the election indicates that far from being a new moderate middle class party, they plan to be the party of witch hunts, conspiracy theories, tax increases and new restrictions on your liberty.

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