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Key Dem questions Trump sons on Dubai deal
The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is requesting President Trump's two oldest sons turn over information on a deal with a Chinese state-owned company, questioning if it violates an agreement aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) sent a letter on Thursday to Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. about a $32 million contract awarded to a subsidiary of China State Construction Engineering Corporation by DAMAC Properties, a partner of the Trump Organization in Dubai.
"Since it appears that the contract would benefit a Trump Organization property, it may therefore run contrary to the President's pledge to refrain from contracts or transactions with foreign state-owned entities," Cardin wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill.
Cardin also sent the letter to Allen Weisselberg, the executive vice president and the chief financial officer at the Trump Organization.
The contract, first reported by McClatchy, is to build a two-way, six-lane road in Akoya Oxygen, a residential section of the Trump World Golf Club Dubai.
An official with the Trump Organization told McClatchy last month that the company had agreed to license its name and brand to DAMAC properties, and it has an agreement to manage the golf course.
Trump has previously touted the partnership between the two companies, including a tweet from 2014 where he noted they were teaming up to build the "Trump World Golf Club #Dubai, at AKOYA Oxygen!"
Trump said earlier this year that he was placing his assets in a trust and handing over control of his business to his two adults sons.
The Trump Organization is also prohibited from new foreign deals during Trump's presidency.
"Specifically, the Trust and The Trump Organization will be prohibited at all times during the Presidency from engaging in any new deals with respect to the use of the 'Trump' brand or any trademark, trade name, or marketing intangibles associated with The Trump Organization or Donald J. Trump in any foreign jurisdictions," according to the trust agreement.
It's not clear when the deal for the road was signed, but it was part of a group of contracts DAMAC announced it had awarded in January and February.
A Trump Organization official appeared to argue that the deal wouldn't violate the ethics agreement, telling McClatchy that the golf course and the residences are "totally unrelated."
But McClatchy noted there are advertising and marketing brochures that link them together.
Democrats have knocked Trump's refusal to put his assets into a "blind trust" for months, and questioned if any foreign deals could violate the Constitution's Emoluments Clause.
Cardin is asking the Trump brothers, and Weisselberg, to detail the Trump Organization's financial interest in the Akoya Oxygen project, as well as its relationship with DAMAC including if it helped approve the contract or was consulted.
Cardin also wants to know if the Trump Organization has provided any guidance on how to comply with the ethics guidance.