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Waters and Ranking Members Continue to Press Mnuchin on Trump Finances, Call for His Recusal

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Washington, DC, January 10, 2018 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI), Vice Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, Congressman Al Green (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, pressing for the Treasury Department to provide information relating to potential money laundering violations by Russian persons and the Trump Organization, and calling for Mnuchin’s recusal from all law enforcement and regulatory matters relating to the President, Trump campaign officials, Trump family members or his associates.

“Steve Bannon, who served as the Trump campaign’s Chief Executive Officer and White House Chief Strategist, was recently reported to have stated that Trump campaign officials and Trump family members have legal exposure for money laundering activities,” the lawmakers wrote. “Mr. Bannon reportedly said “it all goes through Deutsche Bank and the Kushner [expletive],” referring to the President’s son-in-law and campaign advisor, Jared Kushner. This troubling account from a Trump campaign senior official underscores the need for your compliance with our request for information.”

The letter follows two previous requests that Secretary Mnuchin has ignored.

The group of lawmakers first wrote to Secretary Mnuchin in May of 2017 to request that the Treasury Department provide any records to the Committee that detail President Trump’s financial ties to Russia, as well as those of his family members and associates. In July of 2017, the group of lawmakers introduced a Resolution of Inquiry (ROI) directing 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. The measure was blocked by Committee Republicans. In December of 2017, Ranking Member Waters and Committee Democrats sent a follow up letter demanding that Secretary Mnuchin cooperate with their original May request.

In addition, the Ranking Members have written a series of letters— two to Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, one to Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan, and one to Deutsche Bank’s external counsel — requesting their cooperation in efforts to learn the full scope of Russian influence on this Administration. To date, none of the recipients have cooperated with these requests.

In July of 2017, Ranking Member Waters wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to demand his immediate recusal from any Department of Justice investigation into Deutsche Bank’s Russian mirror trading scheme and any investigation into any loans Deutsche Bank provided to President Trump or his immediate family members. Last month, Ranking Member Waters wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to request information on the status of the Department of Justice’s investigation into Deutsche Bank’s Russian mirror trading scheme, Attorney General Session’s involvement in the investigation, and whether President Trump or his family members or associates have sought to influence the investigation. The Justice Department has not replied or cooperated with the requests.

See the full text of the letter below:

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220

Dear Secretary Mnuchin:

On December 8, 2017, we sent a follow up letter reiterating our request for financial intelligence data housed within the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Department”) to assist the Financial Services Committee (“Committee”) in determining the extent of any undue influence on the President and his Administration from Russian government officials, oligarchs, and organized crime leaders. Specifically, we again sought information relating to potential money laundering violations by Russian persons and the Trump Organization. The December 15 deadline we provided has passed, and you have again ignored our inquiry.

Your repeated refusal to cooperate with our requests raises questions about whether you are actively obstructing efforts to uncover the truth about criminal activity by the President, his campaign, family members and associates. Furthermore, it appears that your own involvement with the Trump campaign has resulted in an unavoidable conflict of interest which you are also attempting to ignore.

Steve Bannon, who served as the Trump campaign’s Chief Executive Officer and White House Chief Strategist, was recently reported to have stated that Trump campaign officials and Trump family members have legal exposure for money laundering activities.[1] Mr. Bannon reportedly said “it all goes through Deutsche Bank and the Kushner [expletive],” referring to the President’s son-in-law and campaign advisor, Jared Kushner. This troubling account from a Trump campaign senior official underscores the need for your compliance with our request for information.

Moreover, given the fact that you served as a Trump campaign official in your capacity as national finance chair, we call on you to answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have any knowledge of illegal activities, including money laundering activities, by President Trump, Trump campaign officials, Trump family members or his associates?
  2. In your capacity as finance chair, were you involved in facilitating the transfer of ill-gotten funds or funds from sanctioned persons to the Trump campaign or its agents?
  3. Have you ever directed, or has any other Trump Administration official, Trump campaign official or Trump family member called on you to direct U.S. Treasury officials or staff members to obscure, destroy, or withhold information implicating the President, Trump campaign officials, Trump family members or his associates?
  4. Have you received or requested guidance from the Department, the Office of Government Ethics, or any other party regarding your recusal from law enforcement or regulatory matters relating to President Trump, Trump campaign officials, Trump family members or his associates?
  5. What steps, if any, have you taken to recuse yourself from official business relating to law enforcement or regulatory matters relating to President Trump, Trump campaign officials, Trump family members or his associates?
  6. Has President Trump or any other White House official instructed you not to recuse yourself from law enforcement or regulatory matters relating to President Trump, Trump campaign officials, Trump family members or his associates?

We demand that you provide full responses to each of the preceding questions as well as all of the originally requested information by January 17, 2018. Additionally, until such time as full and satisfactory responses are provided to each question, we call on you to recuse yourself from all official Departmental matters involving all law enforcement and regulatory matters relating to President Trump, Trump campaign officials, Trump family members and his associates.


Sincerely,

The Honorable Maxine Waters
Ranking Member

The Honorable Daniel T. Kildee
Vice Ranking Member


The Honorable Gwen Moore
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade


The Honorable Al Green
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations


The Honorable Ed Perlmutter
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance

________________
[1] Smith, David. Trump Tower meeting with Russians 'treasonous', Bannon says in explosive book, January 4, 2018, available at: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/03/donald-trump-russia-steve-bannon-michael-wolff


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