Dems seek info on taxpayer dollars going to Trump properties
Posted August 8
House Democrats want to know how many taxpayer dollars are flowing to Trump Organization businesses or affiliated ones.
The lawmakers sent letters to 23 federal agencies, asking for information on how they're spending on products or services tied to the President's namesake company.
House oversight committee Democrats are raising concerns that the President may be profiting from his office. They claim President Donald Trump's decision to retain ownership of his businesses is problematic and can create divided loyalties, and have asked the agencies for responses by August 25.
"The President's financial entanglements make it impossible to know whether he is making his decisions in the public interest or to benefit him or his family members financially," wrote the Democratic members led by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland.
For months, Democratic legislators have written letters to the White House and federal agencies in an attempt to hold the administration accountable for what they say are violations of ethical traditions and norms.
But the Democrats have little to show for their efforts so far, in part because their Republican counterparts haven't added their voices to the Democrats' requests.
The office of Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House oversight committee, did not respond to a request for comment. Messages left with the White House and the Trump Organization also were not returned.
The President has repeatedly visited and held events at his properties throughout his presidency, including Mar-a-Lago in Florida, where he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump has spent 21 of his first 26 weekends in office at properties bearing his name, according to CNN. Overall, he has spent 40 days at Trump-branded golf properties.
Ethics experts have taken issue with these visits. The former head of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, said the President should stop attending his businesses.
The lawmakers say the administration isn't disclosing the "expenditures associated with his trips to Mar-a-Lago, Bedminster or any properties he owns" or "whether the President benefited financially from these expenditures."