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Waters calls on House to boost scrutiny of Trump's finances

Waters calls on House to boost scrutiny of Trump's finances
© Greg Nash

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersSafeguarding US elections by sanctioning Russian sovereign debt Kamala Harris and the stereotypes we place on Black women OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Top general negative for coronavirus, Pentagon chief to get tested after Trump result l Top House lawmakers launch investigation into Pentagon redirecting COVID-19 funds MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday called for greater congressional scrutiny of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE’s finances, including allegations that he used his charitable foundation to avoid taxes.

Waters told reporters Thursday that the House should be focused on exposing whether Trump committed financial crimes alleged by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, before a House panel Wednesday.

She said she believes Trump may have used his charitable foundation “to avoid paying taxes on money that he has earned.

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“I think there's more than we know about at this time,” said Waters, the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. She added that she received a letter “from somebody who told me about a situation that they want to talk with me more about,” but did not elaborate.

"We should be seeing what we can unveil about his finances and about his taxes and the crime that is being committed or has been committed because of the way that he has handled and managed money," Waters said.

In testimony before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen accused Trump of inflating and deflating the value of his assets to reduce his tax bill, boost insurance coverage and rank higher on the Forbes list of wealthiest people.

Cohen also said that the president used his personal foundation to pay an individual for bidding up the price of a portrait of Trump up for auction. Trump agreed to shut down the foundation in December after the New York attorney general sued the president, alleging the charity engaged in a "shocking pattern of illegality."

Waters declined to say if she’d subpoena witnesses to testify before the Financial Services panel on Cohen’s allegation, adding she did not want to “pre-empt my staff.”

Waters is already leading a probe into Trump’s finances through his connections to Deutsche Bank, who lent the president millions of dollars when other banks wouldn’t touch him.

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The panel is also looking into potential financial crimes committed by Deutsche Bank, which has paid billions of dollars in fines to settle allegations of money laundering, sanctions violations, market manipulation and risky sales practices.

Waters said Deutsche Bank has been cooperative and agreed to share documents related to the panel’s investigation, which is being conducted with the House Intelligence Committee.

"I don't know what we are exactly going to get, but we do expect to get a response from Deutsche Bank."