Democratic investigators on Monday asked to see proof that the Trump Organization donated $151,470 to the Treasury Department, as lawmakers try to determine whether President Donald Trump has profited off of foreign governments.
George Sorial, the Trump Organization’s executive vice president and chief compliance counsel, said Friday that the gift made good on the company’s promise to hand over profits earned from foreign governments during Trump’s administration.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested all documents related to the donation, including a copy of the check or money transfer, in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, giving him until March 26 to comply.
In a separate letter dated Monday, Cummings also pressed Sorial for details on how the amount was calculated, including an accounting of which governments did business with the Trump Organization and the formula used to determine the profits. Cummings also asked whether the company plans to claim the Treasury donation as a gift for tax-deduction purposes.
“There is no legitimate reason for the Trump Organization to withhold information about these payments from Congress,” Cummings wrote. “We have an obligation to determine whether foreign governments are spending money at President Trump’s businesses, how much they are spending and whether these payments violate the Emoluments Clause.”
Cummings is one of 196 members of the House and Senate, all Democrats, who have sued Trump claiming violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which was designed to prevent corruption by foreign influence. Blumenthal v. Trump is pending in U.S. district court in Washington.
Trump handed over management of his company’s day-to-day operations to his sons Donald Jr. and Eric before taking office last year. Neither the Trump Organization or the Treasury immediately responded to requests for comment.