March 3 (UPI) -- Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of House Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that the committee will issue requests for documents from dozens of individuals as part of its obstruction of justice investigation into President Donald Trump.
Nadler, D-N.Y., told ABC News' This Week that the committee will request documents from more than 60 people, including individuals in the White House and the Trump Organization such as Donald Trump, Jr. and Allen Weisselberg, to "present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power" that he said Trump took part in.
"It's very clear that the president obstructed justice. It's very clear -- 1,100 times he referred to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt," said Nadler. "He tried to protect Flynn from being investigated by the FBI. He fired [Former FBI Director James] Comey in order to stop the 'Russian thing.'"
Despite his belief that Trump obstructed justice, Nadler said impeachment proceedings are a "long way down the road" and the Judiciary Committee is going to first "initiate proper investigations."
"The Republicans spent two years shielding the president from any proper accountability. They threatened to impeach people in the Justice Department. They threatened the Mueller investigation," he said. "It's our job to protect the rule of law. That's our core function."
Nadler said that Trump was implicated "in various crimes, both while seeking the office of president and while in the White House" during testimony by his former attorney Michael Cohen last week.
He added that "there can be crimes that are impeachable offenses and impeachable offenses that are not crimes."
In addition, Nadler said that an attempt "to sabotage a fair election would be an impeachable offense," but that the committee was "far from making decisions on that."
He also said the Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation even if special counsel Robert Mueller's probe finds no evidence of collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.
"We would want to see the evidence behind that and see the validity of that, we could agree or disagree. But this investigation goes far beyond collusion," Nadler said.
Also Sunday, another committee chairman, Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said "I think there is direct evidence in the emails from the Russians through their intermediary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what is described in writing as the Russian government effort to help elect Donald Trump.
Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman, made the comments during an appearance on CBS' Face The Nation.
"They offer that dirt. There is an acceptance of that offer in writing from the president's son, Don Jr., and there is overt acts and furtherance of that ... That to me is direct evidence," he said.
Schiff also said there is circumstantial evidence suggesting collusion in charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and separate closed-door testimony by Cohen before his Intelligence Committee and Senate counterparts as well as the public House Oversight and Reform Committee.
That includes Manafort sharing internal polling data with someone linked to the Russian intelligence services, he said.
Like Nadler, Schiff so far is not calling for impeachment.
"That is something that we will have to await Bob Mueller's report and the underlying evidence to determine," Schiff said. "We will also have to look at the whole body of improper and criminal actions by the president including those campaign finance crimes to determine whether they rise to the level of removal from office."
Trump, one day after mocking investigations by Mueller and Congress during a two-hour speech at Conservative Political Action Conference, remained steadfast there is no collusion.
"After more than two years of Presidential Harassment, the only things that have been proven is that Democrats and other broke the law," Trump posted on Twitter. "The hostile Cohen testimony, given by a liar to reduce his prison time, proved no Collusion!
"I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start - And only because I won the Election! Despite this, great success!