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Dems ignore Trump’s ultimatums, advance investigations into scandals

The Rachel Maddow Show, 2/18/19, 9:26 PM ET

Democrats ready to charge across Trump's red line with new probes

Rachel Maddow looks at Donald Trump’s outsized panic at the possibility that his business dealings with Deutsche Bank were being investigated by the special counsel and notes that now Democrats are pursuing those avenue of inquiry without the
Rachel Maddow looks at Donald Trump’s outsized panic at the possibility that his business dealings with Deutsche Bank were being investigated by the special counsel and notes that now Democrats are pursuing those avenue of inquiry without the
The intimidation campaign began the day after the 2018 midterm elections. As results were still being tallied in parts of the country, Donald Trump, acknowledging the incoming House Democratic majority, published a tweet warning Dems not to investigate his many scandals.

A few hours later, at a White House press conference, the president suggested he wouldn’t even try to work with Congress on substantive issues if Democratic lawmakers scrutinized the controversies surrounding him. In his State of the Union address two weeks ago, Trump was even more explicit, insisting he would only work constructively with Congress if Dems agreed to look the other way on his many scandals.

The Republican added a couple of days later that he doesn’t believe such scrutiny should be “allowed.”

If the intention was to curtail Democrats’ interest in oversight, that plan appears to have failed badly. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius explained in his most recent column that Trump may see scrutiny of his personal finances as a “red line,” but Dems are prepared to cross it.

We’re entering a new phase of the Trump-Russia investigation, in which the president’s efforts to contain the probe are failing. Information he tried to suppress about his business and political dealings is emerging — with more to come.

“There are no red lines except what’s necessary to protect the country,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said during an interview Monday. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told me he plans to request information, perhaps by subpoena, from Deutsche Bank, a major Trump lender, and that “our work on Trump’s finances has already begun.”

As Rachel explained on last night’s show, this will apparently be the only real scrutiny of Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank.

And for the president, this is just one line of inquiry among many.

The House’s Democratic majority is also moving forward with expansive plans to investigate the Russia scandal. And the president’s emergency declaration. And the conversations Trump has had with Vladimir Putin, the details of which the Republican has gone to great lengths to conceal.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.

For three months, the president and his team have warned of dire consequences if Democrats investigated Trump scandals. Republicans haven’t explained why, exactly, they’re so afraid of presidential oversight, but as Dems continue to ignore the threats, a new question has emerged: what does the White House intend to do about Democrats’ indifference to Trump’s warnings?