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Top Dem wants Trump Foundation subpoenaed over documents on use of charitable funds

Top Dem wants Trump Foundation subpoenaed over documents on use of charitable funds
© Greg Nash

The ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDems eye ambitious agenda if House flips Oversight Dems call for probe into citizenship question on 2020 census Drug companies fear Democratic Congress MORE (D-Md.), is asking the panel to issue a subpoena compelling the Trump Foundation to provide documents he says could support evidence of "apparent self-dealing." 

In a Monday letter, Cummings said that the committee has the “responsibility to determine whether Donald Trump, while he was a candidate for President, illegally aided his campaign or engaged in self-dealing to benefit himself or his family members in violation of federal law.”

In November 2016, Cummings sent a letter to the Trump Foundation’s counsel asking it provide information about, among other things, funds provided to those he called "disqualified."

The foundation refused to provide the requested information.

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Cummings also argued that because the committee has in the past investigated the Clinton Foundation, it should be willing to also investigate the Trump Foundation, which has “admitted that it provided income to at least one disqualified individual in 2015 and at least one previous year.”

The Trump Foundation admitted in its 2015 tax filing that it had violated “self-dealing” federal rules, which prohibit nonprofit leaders from funneling money to themselves or their businesses.

According to reports, funds from the foundation were used for a number of actions unrelated to the foundation, including multiple lawsuit settlements involving Trump’s companies and the purchase of a $20,000 portrait of Trump.

In October 2016, New York’s attorney general ordered the foundation to stop gathering funds.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE shut down his foundation in November, keeping a promise he made shortly after being elected.