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Schiff introduces bill to require agencies report spending at Trump properties

Schiff introduces bill to require agencies report spending at Trump properties
© Stefani Reynolds

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCIA impeachment whistleblower forced to live under surveillance due to threats: report In our 'Bizarro World' of 2020 politics, the left takes a wrong turn Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday introduced legislation that would require federal agencies to report their spending at President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE's businesses.

Schiff's bill would not prohibit federal spending at Trump properties, but mandates that agencies submit a report to the Office of Government Ethics detailing any official expenses at companies owned by Trump. The report would have to be made public within 10 days.

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Democrats had already been investigating whether Trump has been violating the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits presidents from accepting money or gifts outside their official salary.

“This president has profited off of the presidency in an unprecedented way,” Schiff said in a statement. “Each time President Trump, accompanied by Secret Service agents, White House staff and other federal officials, makes an official visit to one of his properties, the Trump Organization profits."

The legislation's introduction comes as Democrats are under increasing pressure to move ahead with impeaching Trump in light of a recent intelligence community whistleblower complaint against the president. Trump acknowledged Sunday that he raised corruption accusations against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election MORE during a phone call with Ukraine's leader.

The House Judiciary Committee announced last month that it would broaden its investigation into Trump by looking into his proposal to hold the 2020 Group of Seven (G-7) summit at his Doral resort in Florida.

Also last month, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Administration notifies Congress it plans to approve F-35 sale to UAE | VMI votes to remove Stonewall Jackson statue after allegations of racism| House defense panel chairman: Trump has 'no plan' to leave Afghanistan by Christmas Administration notifies Congress it plans to approve F-35 sale to UAE On The Trail: The fallacy of a conclusive election night MORE (D-N.Y.) instructed his panel's staff to warn foreign governments that spending money at Trump-owned properties may be a violation of the Constitution's Emoluments Clause.

Trump handed off daily operations to his two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTrump's company paid at least .5M by federal government: report Latest 'Borat' footage appears to show star at the White House, meeting Trump Jr. Trump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpTrump says he may host election night party at White House New York attorney general working on list of Trump initiatives for Biden to reverse Trump changes election night plans, cancels party at Trump International: report MORE, upon becoming president, but retains ownership of his businesses.

A June report by The Washington Post showed that Trump's trips to his properties since becoming president have brought his businesses at least $1.6 million from the federal government and GOP campaigns. But that estimate is likely much higher by now, given that the records at the time dated to only the first half of 2017.

House Democrats have also passed multiple government spending bills this year with provisions to ban federal spending at Trump-owned properties all around the world. Those provisions are unlikely to become law, however, given probable GOP opposition in the Senate.

Trump insisted that he was not trying to boost his own business by suggesting his Doral resort as the next location for the G-7 summit.

"With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70 very luxurious rooms with magnificent views. We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants, it's like, such a natural," Trump said. "Each country can have their own villa or their own bungalow, and they have a lot of units in them, so I think it just works out well."