Donald Trump has a serious conflict-of-interest problem and Democrats in congress are coming for him.
Led by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), House Democrats have requested a formal congressional investigation into Donald Trump’s “financial arrangements” Monday, urging a key congressional committee to examine the president-elect’s sprawling business enclave for any conflicts of interests.
Given Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, Cummings wrote, it’s impossible to know how the real estate mogul’s many businesses will affect his future decision-making.
“I am writing to request that the Oversight Committee immediately begin conducting a review of President-elect Donald Trump’s financial arrangements to ensure that he does not have any actual or perceived conflicts of interest, and that he and his advisors comply with all legal and regulatory ethical requirements when he assumes the presidency,” Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee, wrote in a November 14 letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Cummings added that the United States has “never had a president like Mr. Trump in terms of his vast financial entanglements and his widespread business interests around the globe.”
As reported by several news outlets, Trump’s conflicts of interest are extensive. An article published by Mother Jones revealed this summer that Trump has at least $364 million in loans through Deutsche Bank, an organization that is currently negotiating with the US Department of Justice regarding a $4 billion to $5 billion settlement for “misselling of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008,” according to CNBC.
Additionally, The New York Times reported in August that Trump has a “maze” of real estate holdings, and the companies he owns “have at least $650 million in debt,” twice the amount reported in public filings released at the start of his presidential campaign. Two companies holding some of that debt are the Bank of China and Goldman Sachs, according to the report.
Chaffetz’s committee has been one of the leading Republican vehicles for attacking Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, and Chaffetz has said his committee’s investigation of Clinton and her former staff would not stop after the election. In his letter, Cummings pressed Chaffetz to use his committee to dig into Trump’s dealings.
“For the past six years, you and other Republicans in Congress have launched numerous investigations against President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and some of these have been used for partisan political purposes,” Cummings wrote. “Now that Republicans control the White House and Congress, it is incumbent on you and other Republicans to conduct robust oversight over Mr. Trump—not for partisan reasons, but to ensure that our government operates effectively and efficiently and combats even the perception of corruption or abuse.”
Read the Cummings’ entire letter below: