The top Democrat in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — the same group that has been probing into Hillary Clinton — is calling for an investigation into Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.) on Monday urged lawmakers to review the President-elect’s “financial entanglements” before he assumes office on January 20, in order to ensure there are no conflicts of interest between the Trump White House and the Trump Organization.
“We have never had a president like Mr. Trump in terms of his vast financial entanglements and his widespread business interests around the globe,” Cummings said in his letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chair of the committee.
“Moreover, we have not had a presidential candidate in modern times who has refused to disclose his tax returns to the American people. Mr. Trump’s unprecedented secrecy and his extensive business dealings in foreign countries raise serious questions about how he intends to avoid conflicts of interest as president.”
Cummings continued, “It is critical that we conduct this review as soon as possible to ensure that these questions are answered prior to Mr. Trump assuming office.” He went on to say that the arrangement raises “serious concerns.” The congressman added:
“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 and abuse.”
From even before his election victory, the businessman turned politician has said that he intends to resolve any potential conflicts of interest by handing his business over to his adult children, at times referring to it as a blind trust. His detractors, however, have pointed out that handing his business to family members — particularly his children — is anything but a blind trust, and does almost nothing to resolve any potential conflicts.
Further, because his company is not publicly traded and is largely dependent on his personal name, critics have pointed out that it is all but impossible to remove real estate mogul from the business, particularly when it comes to creditors, most, if not all, of whom would be unwilling to release Trump’s personal guarantees.