Senate intel committee’s Ron Wyden demands public hearings on Trump’s financial ties to Russia
Trump's relationship with Moscow has stalked the first year of his presidency, with key former aides under a US investigation for alleged collaboration with the Kremlin. (SPUTNIK/AFP / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Wednesday called for the Senate Select Intelligence Committee to hold hearings on financial ties between Russia and President Donald Trump and his associates.

In a letter to intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Wyden observes that there have been an increasing number "press accounts" about Trump's financial links to Russia.

"I write to urge that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hold public hearings on financial relationships between Donald Trump and his associates and Russia," the letter states.

Wyden notes that he first made the request on March 29, 2017.

"Since then, there have only been more press accounts describing financial ties between Russia and Trump and his associates, as well as public testimony from the president's son-in-law [Jared Kushner] that has raised far more questions than answers," Wyden writes. "The indictments of former Trump campaign co-chair Paul Manafort and campaign aide Rick Gates have also highlighted the importance of money laundering, bank fraud and tax evasion to any investigation of Russia's influence in U.S. politics."

Wyden goes on to argue that "following the money is a crucial component of any counterintelligence investigation, particularly when there are this many indicators of extensive longstanding and illicit financial relationships."

"I do not believe, however, that the Committee has adequately investigated these matters or that the Trump Administration, and in particular the Secretary of the Treasury, has not cooperated with congressional oversight," Wyden concluded. "Indeed, the Secretary has refused to release assessments of senior Russian officials and Russian oligarchs, despite a statutory requirement to do so."