Brown asks for FBI files tied to Mnuchin company

Brown asks for FBI files tied to Mnuchin company
© Getty Images

A top Senate Democrat is pressing the FBI for any information it may have about a possible probe into a film production company with deep ties to President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRand's reversal advances Pompeo New allegations could threaten Trump VA pick: reports President Trump puts on the pageantry for Macron’s visit MORE’s pick to head the Treasury Department.

After a public records request indicated that there could be “enforcement proceedings” involving the company Relativity Media, Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownVulnerable Senate Dems have big cash advantages Trump VA pick faces challenge to convince senators he’s ready for job Overnight Finance: Senate repeals auto-lending guidance, shattering precedent with vote | House passes IRS reform bills | Senate GOP fears tax cut sequel MORE (D-Ohio) wants to know more. That company, which declared bankruptcy in 2015, once counted among its top investors Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary.

With Mnuchin set to appear before the Senate Finance Committee Thursday, Brown is arguing the public has a right to know if one of his business ventures is embroiled in an FBI probe.

Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey Wednesday, asking for all relevant information he may have on any probe involving the company.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Considering U.S. Secretary of the Treasury-designee Steven Mnuchin’s ties to Relativity Media, including his large investment in the company, the financial relationship between OneWest Bank and Relativity Media, and Mr. Mnuchin’s time as co-Chairman of Relativity’s Board, I believe it is in the public’s interest for you to release this information,” he wrote.

After building an investment career at Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin went on to found his own firm, Dune Capital, and invest in a number of ventures.

After being founded in 2004, Relativity Media went on to produce a number of Hollywood films, and Mnuchin joined the firm as a co-chairman. But he stepped away from the firm only months after joining, and the company eventually went into bankruptcy.

Brown’s inquiry came about after MuckRock, an open records platform, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI for any records tied to some of Mnuchin’s companies. The agency denied the request in regards to Relativity Media, saying it could “interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

Variety previously reported that while Mnuchin and his Dune Capital investors lost money in the company’s collapse, there were questions regarding the role of OneWest Bank, which Mnuchin at one point headed, in the company’s last weeks. The bank reportedly pulled $50 million from the company weeks before bankruptcy, while other creditors were left with a legal fight to recoup whatever portion of their investment they could.