Incoming Foreign Affairs chairman plans investigation of Trump Organization

Incoming Foreign Affairs chairman plans investigation of Trump Organization
© Anna Moneymaker

Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Trump rejects Graham call to end shutdown | Coast Guard on track to miss Tuesday paychecks | Dems eye Trump, Russia probes | Trump talks with Erdogan after making threat to Turkey's economy Dems zero in on Trump and Russia Top Dem: Congress may have 'no choice' but to subpoena Trump interpreter MORE (D-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is planning to investigate the White House, the State Department and the Trump Organization after the new Congress is sworn in. 

Engel told The Washington Post that the committee will hold hearings on Russia, Saudi Arabia, the Trump Organization's potential conflicts of interest in foreign nations and how Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering Iran conducts failed satellite launch, despite US warning White House announces reduced delegation to travel to Davos amid shutdown MORE has managed the State Department. 

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“The White House needs to take us seriously, and if they don’t, we are going to make sure they take us seriously,” Engel told the Post. “I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. … But if not, I intend to use every prerogative that I have to ensure oversight."

Engel said in his interview that incoming Democratic chairs of House committees are willing to use subpoenas or "whatever other tools they have" to conduct oversight of President TrumpDonald John TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ MORE, the Post reported. 

He added that there "has been a concern" about the motivations of the administration's foreign policies in certain countries and how they relate to Trump's personal interests. 

“It’s a valid topic for us to look into,” Engel said. “There has been a concern about the motivations of the administration in terms of policies in different countries, and is it connected to Trump’s business interests.”

Engel also told the newspaper that the committee will investigate links between Trump and Russia, including the president's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said he wants to learn more details of Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki earlier this year. 

“We still don’t know what happened in Helsinki between Trump and Putin. It’s ludicrous that months later, we still don’t know,” he told the Post. “I want to find out.”

The congressman from New York added that Pompeo "needs to respect the Foreign Affairs Committee" and cooperate with Congress in its oversight role. 

“Respect is a two-way street,” Engel told the newspaper. “I won’t stand for delay and non-responsiveness to things that are clearly in our jurisdiction.”