The House Oversight Committee is asking for details on how and when the Trump Organization will donate profits made from foreign government officials, which President Trump first promised to do in January.
The Trump Organization announced shortly before Trump's inauguration that it would donate profits from foreign officials staying at its hotels to the Treasury Department in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Last month, the Trump Organization announced it had developed a policy to identify the profits made by the officials at its hotels, but would not start making donations until the end of 2018.
Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah) and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (Md) in a letter Friday asked one of Trump's lawyers for details as to how and when those donations would be made.
“Additional details of the plan to donate profits derived from foreign government payments, however, are still unclear,” the committee wrote. “Meanwhile, recent news accounts have reported that the Trump Organization may have received payments from foreign government sources since President Trump’s inauguration.”
Two days earlier, Chaffetz shocked congressional leaders by announcing he would not run for reelection in 2018, and reports say he may even choose to leave before finishing his term. Experts have speculated the rising GOP star may have found the Oversight chairmanship, the most prominent watchdog position on Capitol Hill, less attractive with a Republican president in the White House.
The committee asked for documents to "better understand the mechanics of how this arrangement will be implemented," including the details of the process announced last month used to identify foreign payments, how they're calculated, how they will be donated and how it will be tracked and shared with the public.
The committee also asked if the Trump Organization, the president or his trust plan to claim the donations as a gift for tax deductions.
The Trump Organization has remained under close scrutiny following Trump's inauguration because of the billionaire businessman's many potential conflicts of interest.
Liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has accused Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits elected officials from accepting gifts from foreign states, because of the Trump Organization's business with foreign officials and companies.