Maxine Waters, ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, told reporters she had filed a resolution of inquiry demanding the U.S. Treasury Secretary hand over documents in his possession, "relating to President Trump's financial connections to Russian Federation, certain illegal financial schemes, and related information".
The bill, which censures Iran over its ballistic missile program, also slaps new sanctions on Russian Federation over Moscow's alleged interference in the USA presidential election in 2016.
But for now, in an effort to keep things clear, here are some of the basic facts on the main sets of sanctions the U.S. has levied against Russian Federation, including the Magnitsky Act, the sanctions leveled over Russia's intervention in Ukraine, and sanctions leveled over the 2016 election.
Congress is keen to take a stronger line against Russian Federation despite Trump pushing for a warmer relationship. Rand Paul of Kentucky, opposed the bill, which also slaps Tehran with new sanctions.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is set to announce a plan Friday that will force Congressional Republicans to vote on an inquiry of President Donald Trump's administration.
A declassified version of a report by the U.S. Intelligence Community said in January that "Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the United States presidential election" whose "goals were to undermine public faith in the USA democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency".
Pelosi made that statement as she announced on Friday "a new coordinated effort" by Democrats to try to get records regarding the Trump family's and administration's ties to Russian Federation.
The Senate quickly approved a revised version of the bill, but House Democrats objected to having their power curtailed.
A Russian sanctions bill has stalled in Congress amid partisan finger-pointing, leaving lawmakers anxious the inaction could limit their legislative check on the Trump administration.
Democrats rejected the suggestion as another tactic by Republicans supporting White House objections to the bill.
Maxine Waters, the lead Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, invoked a rarely used congressional provision that allows lawmakers to directly request information from the Trump administration. A spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee said the letter hasn't been sent.
Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., also said Thursday that as he understood it, it was "a possibility" that House leaders might try to attach North Korea sanctions to the Russia-Iran package, but that the chances were slim - "probably a four-percenter", as he put it.
It's not clear the Trump administration is actively planning to return the sites, though the Washington Post reported in June the idea was among several topics US diplomats discussed with their Russian counterparts.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and Rep.