House Democrats reach deal to obtain Donald Trump's financials in 'self-dealing' investigation
House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney has announced the Committee will obtain “key” Trump financial documents as part of its “investigation into President Trump’s unprecedented conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and foreign financial ties,” after several years of legal battles.
“After numerous court victories, I am pleased that my Committee has now reached an agreement to obtain key financial documents that former President Trump fought for years to hide from Congress,” Chair Maloney said in a statement.
“In April 2019, the Oversight Committee issued a lawful subpoena for financial records as part of our investigation into President Trump’s unprecedented conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and foreign financial ties. After facing years of delay tactics, the Committee has now reached an agreement with the former President and his accounting firm, Mazars USA, to obtain critical documents. These documents will inform the Committee’s efforts to get to the bottom of former President Trump’s egregious conduct and ensure that future presidents do not abuse their position of power for personal gain.”
The House Oversight Committee’s website notes that, as part of its investigation, in 2019 “President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified before the Oversight Committee. He alleged that President Trump’s financial statements falsely represented the President’s assets and liabilities and that President Trump ‘inflated his total assets when it served his purposes’ or, at other times, ‘deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.'”
Cohen, who served as Trump’s personal attorney from 2006 to 2018, “produced portions of financial statements from 2011, 2012, and 2013—some of which were prepared by Mazars—which raised questions about President Trump’s representations on these forms and other financial disclosure documents, particularly relating to the President’s debts.”
“Mr. Cohen also produced checks from President Trump and his business trust, some of which were signed after Mr. Trump became President, and Mr. Cohen testified that these payments were reimbursements of illegal hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign,” presumably referring to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
In October of last year CNN reported on the damning documents released by the House Oversight Committee that showed Trump’s International Hotel at The Old Post Office in Washington, D.C. lost $70 million during his tenure as president.
Those House Oversight documents, according Reuters, also showed “Trump’s businesses tried to hide millions of dollars in payments from foreign governments that flowed through his hotel in downtown Washington D.C.” Some legal experts have argued that violates the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
“Trump reported that the hotel earned him more than $150 million during his time in office but actually lost more than $70 million,” Reuters noted. “The committee found that the hotel received over $3.7 million in payments from foreign governments – equal to more than 7,400 nights at the hotel, raising a potential conflict of interest.”
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