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Democrats ramp up Trump inquiries

Billy House, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

One big turn could come as early as next week. The committee has set a public hearing for Sept. 17 at which former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski -- and two former associates who went on to serve in the White House, Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter -- have been subpoenaed to testify. A Trump White House pattern of defying committee subpoenas could put that in doubt -- and itself have implications for impeachment.

Trump Finances

The Financial Services and Intelligence committees continue to battle in court for Trump-related material from Deutsche Bank AG, Capital One Financial Corp. and other banks.

Democrats want to know about any foreign actors who might hold financial leverage over Trump or Trump family activities, or about any suspicious transactions. Trump's lawyers last month went before a three-judge federal appeals court panel in New York seeking to overturn a ruling that the banks had to comply with subpoenas issued by the two committees.

A ruling is almost certain to be appealed by whichever side loses. Additionally, Trump's lawyers have asked an appeals court in Washington to reverse a lower court ruling in favor of the Oversight and Reform Committee's subpoena to an accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, seeking the president's financial records. The committee is trying to determine if Trump inflated the value of his assets and liabilities on financial statements, including to obtain bank loans.

Yet another front was opened in July, when the House Ways and Means Committee asked a federal court in Washington to force the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to hand over the president's tax returns for the past six years.

 

Conflicts of Interest

The Judiciary and the Oversight committees are investigating Vice President Mike Pence's stay at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland, as well as an Air Force crew's stay at his Turnberry resort in Scotland, and Trump's proposal to hold next year's Group of Seven summit at his Doral golf resort in Miami.

Lawmakers were already questioning Trump's refusal to divest his real-estate holdings upon becoming president, and looking into whether his hotels may be a draw for foreign visitors seeking favor with his administration.

Concerns have grown about government funds and foreign money being paid to Trump properties as possible emolument violations. The two committees are in the early stages of investigating the Pence, Air Force crew and G-7 matters, and have demanded the administration turn over related documents and records. They set a Sept. 19 due date for some of the material.

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