The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday began a broad inquiry into whether Russia and other foreign powers may be exercising influence over President Trump, acting only hours after a defiant Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that the House would not be cowed by the president’s “all-out threat” to drop its investigations of his administration. Other committees were zeroing in on similarly sensitive oversight targets. On Thursday, Democrats will begin their quest to secure the president’s long-suppressed tax returns. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee readied a subpoena for the acting attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, in case he tried to avoid Democratic questioning. And a House Appropriations subcommittee chairwoman began an inquiry into administration rule-bending during the 35-day partial government shutdown.
“It’s our congressional responsibility, and if we didn’t do it, we would be delinquent in that,” Ms. Pelosi said of the House’s oversight role, hours after Mr. Trump used his State of the Union address to warn that “ridiculous partisan investigations” threatened the nation’s economic health and the prospects of bipartisan legislating.
That, Ms. Pelosi said, “was a threat — it was an all-out threat.”
The confrontation between a newly empowered House majority and a president of the opposite party drew comparisons to Democrats’ investigations of the George W. Bush administration after the 2006 elections and Republicans’ blitz of Barack Obama’s administration after the 2010 midterms. But Democrats and even some Republicans conceded that the targets offered up by Mr. Trump and his administration were far more numerous than his predecessors’, and his threats and protests have been more vocal.