Courtesy of NBC News:
Two relatively unknown figures could soon emerge as key players in the congressional investigations into President Donald Trump.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings is interested in talking to Sheri Dillon and Stefan Passantino, attorneys responsible for the president’s ethics and financial disclosures. They could be central to determining whether Trump committed crimes by making hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Neither has indicated a willingness to cooperate with Cummings’ committee, having disregarded a March 6 deadline set by the Maryland Democrat to agree to provide transcribed interviews to his committee later next week, according to Democratic aides. The White House has responded on behalf of Passantino and declined to make him available for an interview, committee aides said.
In an early test of his ability to compel Trump officials and allies to provide information to Congress, Cummings may be forced to play hardball — including issuing subpoenas — to get them to comply.
According to requests from the committee sent to each of the lawyers, as well as the White House, the two “appeared to provide false information” to federal officials about payments to Cohen to keep the alleged Trump affair from becoming public.
At issue are financial disclosure forms they filed with the Office of Government Ethics and ethics officials’ written notes documenting “evolving stories” from the two about the payments and Trump’s failure to disclose them. Passantino was a White House deputy counsel in charge of ethics policy, and is now working for the Trump Organization to field inquiries from the Democratic-led House. His signature was on Trump’s disclosure form. Dillon is a personal attorney for Trump.
I think this is the beginning of what will be quite a number of attempts to claim executive privilege in order to get out requests for testimony before Congress.
If they go that route it will give the Dems plenty of ammunition to use in declaring obstruction and requesting even more testimony from others who may have witnessed or participated in the initial coverup.
If these Trump folks think that they can put Elijah Cummings off for long they must know anything about Elijah Cummings.