Press Releases

Waters Statement at Press Conference on House Republicans’ Refusal to Fully Investigate Russia’s Threat to Our Democracy and National Security

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Washington, DC, January 8, 2018 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, gave the following statement at a press conference highlighting House Republicans’ refusal to address Russia’s threat to our democracy and national security:

As Prepared for Delivery

“Good Afternoon. Beginning in early 2017, I and other Democrats on the Financial Services Committee called upon the Chairman of the Committee to utilize the investigatory powers of the Committee to scrutinize the suspicious financial dealings of President Trump, his family members, and his associates.

“It is very clear that Donald Trump has something to hide when it comes to his finances. Why does Trump refuse to reveal his tax returns to the public? Why was Deutsche Bank—a bank that has been fined for Russian money laundering and many other violations of the law—willing to lend hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump after his bankruptcies when no other bank would lend to him? Why are so many properties owned, licensed or branded under Trump’s name sold to Russians associated with criminal activity, or to secretive shell companies, which are known for facilitating money laundering and masking foreign influence?

“But despite the urgency of learning whether this President is somehow compromised, Committee Republicans have turned down our requests for cooperation at every turn.

“In March of last year, I and other Committee Democrats wrote to Chairman Hensarling to request that the Committee use the full range of its investigative powers to examine Deutsche Bank’s Russian money-laundering operation, and assess the integrity of the U.S. Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into the scheme, given the Trump Administration’s conflicts of interest in the matter and Attorney General Sessions’ communications with the Russian Ambassador. Chairman Hensarling did not reply.

“In July, I introduced a Resolution of Inquiry (ROI) directing Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to provide Congress with documents from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) regarding the financial and business dealings of President Trump, his family members, and his associates, including those with Russia, and to uncover any evidence of illicit activity that may have compromised the President. The measure was blocked by Committee Republicans along party lines.

“In August, I and other Committee Democrats wrote to Chairman Hensarling to request that he use his unilateral subpoena authority to request documents from Deutsche Bank related to the 2011 Russian mirror trading scheme and any internal reviews of the personal accounts of President Trump and his associates. Chairman Hensarling has refused to cooperate with the request.

“As part of our efforts, I and other Committee Democrats have also sent letters to the Treasury Department, Deutsche Bank, and Deutsche Bank’s external counsel. But none of them have cooperated with our requests.

I also recently led a letter from 171 Members of Congress to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to express our support for the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller.

“It’s time for Republicans in Congress to stop covering for this President, stop the attacks on the critically important work of Special Counsel Mueller, and start doing real oversight on behalf of the American public.”

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