House Democrats will gain the power to subpoena records from President Donald Trump’s businesses next year, and Bloomberg has written a lengthy article detailing how they can answer key questions about the president’s finances.
While Trump’s sprawling branding empire leaves no shortage of targets for investigators, House Democrats are reportedly zeroing in on key aspects of the president’s businesses that demand more scrutiny — here are some of the potential scandals Democrats will be looking into when they retake the House in January.
1.) Does Trump talk about his businesses with sons Don Jr. and Eric?. In theory, there is supposed to be a wall of separation between Trump in the Oval Office and the businesses being run by his two adult sons.
However, the Trump sons’ frequent appearances at Trump political events have opened up questions about whether the president is really making policy decisions independent of how they might affect his businesses.
“We got to figure out when is he acting on behalf of the American people in a lot of his decisions, or is he acting on his own behalf,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) recently told ABC News.
2.) What are the Trump Organization’s dealings with Deutsche Bank? The Trump Organization’s longstanding relationship with Deutsche Bank has raised eyebrows given the bank’s reputation as a haven for Russian money laundering.
Deutsche Bank in 2017 agreed to pay out $630 million in penalties after getting busted for being involved in a $10 billion Russian money laundering scheme that involved its Moscow, New York and London branches.
Deutsche Bank was also the one major bank that was willing to lend Trump money in the late ’90s, after a string of business failures made him toxic for all other Wall Street banks. In total, Trump has roughly $300 million in outstanding debts to Deutsche Bank.
3.) Does Trump give special treatment to members of foreign governments who spend lavishly at his hotels? Trump hotels have taken a hit to revenues in the wake of his political rise in 2015 — but it looks like some foreign governments are helping to keep them afloat.
Documents obtained by the Washington Post show that rental revenue for rooms at Trump’s flagship hotel in New York dropped by 14 percent when adjusted for inflation.
However, in a recent note to hotel investors, the Trump Organization said that some of its bookings revenues had recovered thanks to an influx of tourists from Saudi Arabia — a country that has forged a close alliance with Trump ever since his election in 2016.
Additionally, Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) tells Bloomberg that he wants to investigate the Trump Organization’s lease agreement with the General Services Administration for the president’s DC hotel, which has reportedly become a magnet for foreign government officials hoping to court influence with the White House.