For two years, journalists have operated in an environment in which Congress has declined to inquire into key issues surrounding President Donald Trump’s family business: Is he profiting from his presidency? Are his friends, family and appointees? Is Trump violating the Constitution when members of foreign governments make payments to his company by staying at his properties?
Now, with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives after this week’s midterm elections, that could change. Already, several high-ranking members are vowing to look into aspects of the relationship between Trump’s business and his administration.
- Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., currently the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, says he’ll request Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury Department.
- Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, says in a statement he’ll “shine a light on … President Trump’s decisions to act in his own financial self-interest rather than the best interests of the American people.”
- Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., current ranking member of the Judiciary Committee is vowing to investigate policies “that enable pervasive corruption to influence decision-making at the highest levels of government.”
- Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee says in a statement the committee will look at “areas of inquiry the majority ignored or prevented us from investigating.” Democratic committee staff issued a report last spring detailing some of those areas. Among them: the Trump Organization’s business practices.
What will this all mean? What do we hope to learn? And how might this change our understanding of the presidency and his business? WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein convened an all-star panel to discuss it all: Adam Davidson of the The New Yorker, McClatchy’s White House correspondent Anita Kumar, The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold and Eric Umansky of ProPublica. Listen to the episode.
They also helped us to create a must-read list of stories, articles, documents and court filings that take on new interest after the midterms for anyone following the administration.
From Adam: The House Intelligence Committee’s Minority Views report, which lays out how a Democrat-led committee might continue to investigate possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, and the deposition of Trump Organization CFO Alan Weisselberg in State of New York v. The Donald J. Trump Foundation.
From Andrea: U.S. District Judge’s Peter J. Messite’s Nov. 2, 2018, Memorandum Opinion in The District of Columbia v. Donald J. Trump, otherwise known as the “emoluments lawsuit.”
From Anita: Sarah Chayes’ amicus brief in CREW v. Donald J. Trump.
From David: Trump’s 2007 deposition in the case Donald J. Trump v. Timothy O’Brien.
From Eric: Axios’ story about a GOP spreadsheet of expected Democratic-led investigations. It’s a long list that spans everything from well-known issues like Trump’s tax returns to things many of us have long forgotten, such as whether classified information has been inappropriately shared at Mar-a-Lago.
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