Tell House Government Oversight Chair Chaffetz: Do Your job, Investigate Trump


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

corrupt-donald-trump-180.jpgAs a senior counselor to the president speaking in an official capacity from the White House press briefing room, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway just endorsed a product in an attempt to enrich the president’s family.1

In response to Nordstrom’s decision to drop Ivanka Trump products from its stores, Conway offered “a free commercial,” as she herself described it.

“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would say,” Conway said on Fox News, “Go buy it today, everybody.” Conway appears to have broken federal ethics rules live on national TV. Even Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz called it “wrong, wrong, wrong.”2

But Chaffetz has refused to use his power as head of the House Government Oversight Committee to investigate Trump’s ever-widening web of corruption. Now he’s feeling the heat – hundreds chanted “do your job!” 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.

Chaffetz is trying to duck responsibility for investigating Trump after spending years and countless dollars investigating Benghazi. Progressive champion Rep. Elijah Cummings and Chaffetz sent a bipartisan letter of concern to the White House Office of Government Ethics about Conway’s behavior. But Chaffetz has ignored Cummings’ repeated calls for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate Trump’s corruption.4 Rep. Mark Pocan is now circulating a letter demanding Chaffetz act, and we need to echo that message.5

What Conway did is just the tip of the corruption iceberg. Trump’s 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.6

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. The White House claimed it has “counseled” Conway7 – but we can’t let Trump Republicans try to pretend this is an isolated event and it is normal for a president to profit off his time in office.

No one knows the full extent of Trump’s 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 “meaningless.” 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’s non-scandals, Chaffetz owes it to the American public to investigate naked conflicts of interest emerging in the Trump administration.

  • Petition to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz:
    “Do your job. Investigate Trump’s ever-widening web of potential corruption, from personally profiting off of the presidency to his refusal to release his tax returns.”

Thank you for speaking out,

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Richard Pérez-Peña and Rachel Abrams, “Kellyanne Conway Promotes Ivanka Trump Brand, Raising Ethics Concerns,” The New York Times, Feb. 9, 2017.
Ibid.
Jeff Stein, “Hundreds chant “Do your job!” at House Republican in charge of investigating Trump,” Vox.com, Feb. 9, 2017.
Pérez-Peña and Abrams, “Kellyanne Conway Promotes Ivanka Trump Brand, Raising Ethics Concerns.”
Rep. Mark Pocan, “I’m circulating a letter…,” Feb. 9, 2017.
Pérez-Peña and Abrams, “Kellyanne Conway Promotes Ivanka Trump Brand, Raising Ethics Concerns.”
Ibid.
Kim Bellware and Cristian Farias, “President Trump Has Already Violated The Constitution, Lawsuit Claims,” The Huffington Post, Jan. 23, 2017.
Matthew Yglesias, “President Trump and the Trump Organization are the biggest conflict of interest in US history,” Vox.com, Nov. 14, 2016.
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