Progressive champion Rep. Elijah Cummings says House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz ‚Äúappears to be taking marching orders directly from Trump‚Äôs tweet.‚ÄĚ1
Instead of investigating Michael Flynn or Trump‚Äôs ever-widening web of corruption, Chaffetz parroted Trump‚Äôs tweets and asked the inspector general to target the people who brought to light Flynn‚Äôs lies and the administration‚Äôs suspect ties to Russia.2
Once again, Chaffetz has refused to use his power as head of the House Government Oversight Committee to investigate Trump directly. But he‚Äôs feeling the heat ‚Äď hundreds chanted ‚Äúdo your job!‚ÄĚ at him at a recent town hall in his district.3 We need to join that call and turn up the pressure on Chaffetz to do his job.
After Kellyanne Conway broke federal ethics rules, Chaffetz refused to investigate Trump corruption and merely referred the case to the Office of Government Ethics, which recommended repercussions. He has politely asked the Trump administrations for documents about sensitive discussions being held in the open at Trump‚Äôs Mar-a-Lago resort, after spending years and countless dollars investigating Benghazi.4 Chaffetz has ignored Cummings‚Äô repeated calls for the House Oversight and Government Reform committee to investigate Trump‚Äôs corruption.5 Rep. Mark Pocan is now circulating a letter demanding Chaffetz act, and we need to echo that message.6
What Conway did is just the tip of the corruption iceberg. Trump‚Äôs massive web of potential corruption is on a never-before-seen scale. Past presidents have sold assets and placed money and investments in blind trusts. Trump, by contrast, claims to be handing over his businesses to his children. But he lashed out at Nordstrom in a tweet objecting to the store ceasing to sell Ivanka Trump products, and still receives regular updates on Trump Organization earnings.7
Because he is still hiding the full extent of his business entanglements, we have no way of knowing if he is under the thumb of foreign interests, whether his business interests in the Middle East or other countries run counter to American foreign policy or whether he is merely using the presidency to enrich himself. We can‚Äôt let Trump Republicans try to pretend it is normal for a president to profit off of his time in office.
No one knows the full extent of Trump‚Äôs foreign financial and business entanglements because of his unprecedented secrecy and refusal to release his tax returns. Government ethics experts have already said Trump is likely violating the Constitution by personally profiting from the presidency and called his pretend show of giving his sons control of his company ‚Äúmeaningless.‚ÄĚ On top of it all, we still do not know whether he is indebted to foreign interests that would give them influence over the commander in chief.8,9
After spending untold hours investigating Clinton‚Äôs non-scandals, Chaffetz owes it to the American public to investigate naked conflicts of interest emerging in the Trump administration. Tell House Government Oversight Chair Chaffetz: Do your job. Investigate Trump‚Äôs corruption. Click below to sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out,
Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
Add your name:
- David Edwards, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ Raw Story, Feb. 16, 2017.
- Jeff Stein, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ Vox, Feb. 9, 2017.
- Kyle Cheney and Darren Samuelsohn, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ Politico, Feb. 16, 2016.
- Richard P√©rez-Pe√Īa and Rachel Abrams, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ The New York Times, Feb. 9, 2017.
- Rep. Mark Pocan, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ Feb. 9, 2017.
- P√©rez-Pe√Īa and Abrams, ‚Äú.‚ÄĚ
- Kim Bellware and Cristian Farias, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ The Huffington Post, Jan. 23, 2017.
- Matthew Yglesias, ‚Äú,‚ÄĚ Vox.com, Nov. 14, 2016.