Cummings Calls on Chaffetz to Launch Inquiry into Trump’s So-Called “Blind Trust
Washington, D.C. (Nov. 14, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent aletterto Chairman Jason Chaffetz requesting that the Oversight Committee immediately begin conducting a review of President-elect Donald Trump’s financial arrangements to ensure that he does not have any actual or perceived conflicts of interest and that he and his advisors comply with all legal and regulatory ethical requirements when he assumes the presidency.
November 14, 2016
The Honorable Jason Chaffetz
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I am writing to request that the Oversight Committee immediately begin conducting a review of President-elect Donald Trump’s financial arrangements to ensure that he does not have any actual or perceived conflicts of interest and that he and his advisors comply with all legal and regulatory ethical requirements when he assumes the presidency.
We have never had a president like Mr. Trump in terms of his vast financial entanglements and his widespread business interests around the globe. Moreover, we have not had a presidential candidate in modern times who has refused to disclose his tax returns to the American people. Mr. Trump’s unprecedented secrecy and his extensive business dealings in foreign countries raise serious questions about how he intends to avoid conflicts of interest as president.
Press reports indicate that Mr. Trump will be relying heavily on his children to operate his financial empire, but these same individuals have played a significant role in his presidential campaign and continue to advise Mr. Trump on his transition team. This is certainly not a “blind trust.”
Congress has put in place several laws to avoid financial conflicts of interest—both actual and perceived. The Oversight Committee has direct jurisdiction over these financial interest laws and the White House.
For these reasons, I request that the Committee immediately begin a review of these issues and invite appropriate officials designated by Mr. Trump to hear from them directly about their plans. It is critical that we conduct this review as soon as possible to ensure that these questions are answered prior to Mr. Trump assuming office.
For the past six years, you and other Republicans in Congress have launched numerous investigations against President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and some of these have been used for partisan political purposes, as Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted regarding the Benghazi Committee.
Now that Republicans control the White House and Congress, it is incumbent on you and other Republicans to conduct robust oversight over Mr. Trump—not for partisan reasons, but to ensure that our government operates effectively and efficiently and combats even the perception of corruption or abuse.