House Dems call for 'urgent' investigation into Trump businesses

House Dems call for 'urgent' investigation into Trump businesses
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Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee called Monday for an investigation into President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE’s business empire and potential conflicts of interest.

In a letter to Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE (R-Utah), the Democrats said the panel should look into how Trump plans to protect against conflicts of interest when he takes office. They also asked Chaffetz to request the release of Trump’s tax returns, which the president-elect has refused to make public.

 “You have the authority launch a Committee investigation, and we’re calling on you to use that power now,” wrote the Democrats. “Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns has already demonstrated a troubling lack of accountability and transparency, making it even more critical that the Committee conduct rigorous oversight right away  — before he is sworn in as president.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the committee’s ranking Democrat, first asked Chaffetz for an investigation on Nov. 14. The Democrats cited “troubling new revelations” about Trump’s business since in their Monday letter, and an unprecedented number of constituent calls asking for an investigation.


Trump has said that his adult children would manage his business through a trust to prevent conflicts of interest, but his children are currently also serving on his transition committee. Trump’s daughter Ivanka was photographed sitting in on a meeting between the president-elect and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and spoke with the leader of Argentina during a phone call he made to her father.

Reporting from the New York Times and Washington Post highlighted Trump’s financial entanglements with foreign businesses and governments that could weigh on his service as president. 

Democrats pointed to those reports, along with Chaffetz’s promise in August to hold any president accountable and “not to be a cheerleader” for one party.

“You acted with unprecedented urgency to hold ‘emergency’ hearings and issue multiple unilateral subpoenas to investigate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton before the election,” wrote the Democrats, referring to the committee’s probe of the Benghazi attacks. “We ask that you show the same sense of urgency now.”