Top Dem wants Trump Foundation subpoenaed over documents on use of charitable funds

Top Dem wants Trump Foundation subpoenaed over documents on use of charitable funds
© Greg Nash

The ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCummings: Trump has 'got to be better' about condemning racism Sunday shows preview: Virginia lawmakers talk Charlottesville, anniversary protests Republicans and Democrats alike face troubling signals from voters MORE (D-Md.), is asking the panel to issue a subpoena compelling the Trump Foundation to provide documents he says could support evidence of "apparent self-dealing." 

In a Monday letter, Cummings said that the committee has the “responsibility to determine whether Donald Trump, while he was a candidate for President, illegally aided his campaign or engaged in self-dealing to benefit himself or his family members in violation of federal law.”

In November 2016, Cummings sent a letter to the Trump Foundation’s counsel asking it provide information about, among other things, funds provided to those he called "disqualified."

The foundation refused to provide the requested information.

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Cummings also argued that because the committee has in the past investigated the Clinton Foundation, it should be willing to also investigate the Trump Foundation, which has “admitted that it provided income to at least one disqualified individual in 2015 and at least one previous year.”

The Trump Foundation admitted in its 2015 tax filing that it had violated “self-dealing” federal rules, which prohibit nonprofit leaders from funneling money to themselves or their businesses.

According to reports, funds from the foundation were used for a number of actions unrelated to the foundation, including multiple lawsuit settlements involving Trump’s companies and the purchase of a $20,000 portrait of Trump.

In October 2016, New York’s attorney general ordered the foundation to stop gathering funds.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE shut down his foundation in November, keeping a promise he made shortly after being elected.