Oversight Dems ask for subpoena of Trump Organization

Oversight Dems ask for subpoena of Trump Organization
© Camille Fine

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are calling on the panel's Republican chairman to subpoena documents from the Trump Organization.

In a letter to Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyCambridge Analytica whistleblower briefs House Dems GOP chairmen say they have deal with Justice on documents Overnight Energy: Dems raise new questions about Pruitt's security | EPA rules burning wood is carbon neutral | Fourth GOP lawmaker calls for Pruitt's ouster | Court blocks delay to car efficiency fines MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday, 17 panel Democrats called for a "serious investigation" into whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Watergate prosecutor: Trump taking the fifth would be political suicide Comey: I’m ‘embarrassed and ashamed’ by Republican party Comey, Anderson Cooper clash over whether memo release violated FBI rules MORE's businesses are violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bars federal officials from accepting payments or gifts from foreign governments.

They accused Trump and his attorneys of stalling "virtually any credible oversight" related to potential emoluments clause violations and said a subpoena was necessary because the Trump Organization failed to provide documents they previously requested.

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The letter to Gowdy comes exactly a year after Trump held a news conference announcing that he would not liquidate his business assets or put them into a blind trust, but would instead hand day-to-day control of the Trump Organization over to his two adult sons.

"Now that a year has passed since the President and his attorneys held their press conference, there is no longer any reason for the Trump Organization to continue defying our Committee's request for documents and a briefing," the letter reads.

"For these reasons, we respectfully request that you now issue a subpoena to compel the Trump Organization to produce, by January 20, 2018, all of the following documents, which were requested on a bipartisan basis more than eight months ago."

The Democrats are seeking documents regarding how the Trump Organization identifies payments from foreign governments, as well as documents on whether Trump is making good on his promise to donate such payments to the U.S. Treasury. 

Trump has come under scrutiny since taking office for his continued ownership of the Trump Organization, with ethics watchdog groups alleging violations of the Emoluments Clause. 

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit over the emoluments clause last month, saying that the plaintiffs, led by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, failed to show standing to bring the case.