The Real Deal New York

Trump Org likely to face heightened scrutiny from Democrats next year

House leaders will have subpoena power to go after president’s company
November 19, 2018 09:40AM

Elijah Cummings  and Maxine Waters (Credit: Getty Images)

The Trump Organization will be facing new scrutiny next year when the Democrats take control of the House, which gives them broad power to issue subpoenas to probe the famously opaque company.

Starting in January, Democrats will be able to look into things such as how much contact President Trump keeps with Trump Organization executives after he agreed to step away from control of the company, Bloomberg News reported.

They can ask whether he discusses businesses with his sons, and can look into the Trump Organization’s potential contacts with foreign governments and potential ties to Russian and Saudi interests.

House Democrats are also likely to look into the company’s dealings with Deutsche Bank. The bank is one of Trump’s biggest lenders and last year was hit with almost $630 million in fines by regulators in the U.S. and the U.K. for enabling wealthy Russians to circumvent regulations and move billions of dollars out of the country.

“We know that Deutsche Bank is identified as one of the biggest money laundering banks in the world, perhaps, and that they’re the only ones who were amenable to providing loans to this president,” Maxine Waters, who is expected to be the new head of the House Financial Services Committee, told Bloomberg Television.

A Deutsche Bank spokesperson said the company’s “recent record of cooperating with such investigations has been widely recognized by regulators” and that the lender intends “to keep working in this spirit if we get an authorized request for information.”

Democrats could also look into the Trump Organization’s lease for its hotel at Washington, D.C.’s Old Post Office building with the General Services Administration, and accusations that the president has possibly violated the U.S. Constitution by receiving revenue through his hotels from foreign governments.

Representative Elijah Cummings, who expected to head the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said lawmakers will be selective with their subpoenas.

“I’m not going to be handing out subpoenas like somebody’s handing out candy on Halloween,” he said. “If I have to use them, they will be used in a methodical way.” [Bloomberg] – Rich Bockmann