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Committee Chairs Ask IGs to Review Counterintelligence Investigation of President Trump’s Finances in Light of Secret Chinese Bank Account

Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Jerrold L. Nadler, the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, Rep. Maxine Waters, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Financial Services, and Rep. Bill Pascrell, the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, sent a letter asking the Inspectors General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to review whether a counterintelligence investigation regarding President Donald Trump’s financial interests was ever opened, as well as whether it was curtailed or terminated.

Recent reporting has revealed that President Trump’s company generated tens of millions of dollars overseas, that he is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and that he held foreign bank accounts—including a secret account with an unidentified Chinese bank.  In 2017, the Trump Organization reportedly saw “an unusually large spike in revenue” that was subsequently followed by an almost equal withdrawal by President Trump from another company account.

“The American people deserve to know whether the Trump Administration may have deliberately sought to shield the President from a thorough counterintelligence inquiry of his finances at the expense of our national security,” the Chairs wrote.  “To that end, we urge to you examine the decisions and circumstances surrounding the FBI and Special Counsel’s Office’s reported counterintelligence investigation into President Trump’s finances, including whether any entity chose not to pursue or was prevented from completing a thorough investigation.” 

In May 2017, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”  The Special Counsel’s mandate included “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”  However, it has since been reported that Rosenstein quickly curtailed the counterintelligence investigation and any inquiries into Trump’s finances.

In July 2017, when President Trump was asked whether scrutiny of his finances would constitute a “red line” for Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, he responded, “I would say yeah.  I would say yes.”   

Before assuming office, President Trump refused to divest fully from his global business, which created unprecedented ethical and counterintelligence risks.  But the scope and scale of his overseas financial interests and his debts—now reported to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars—were never previously disclosed.   Yet, it appears that “the FBI Counterintelligence Division has not investigated counterintelligence risks arising from President Trump’s foreign financial ties.” 

“There is substantial evidence of ties between President Trump’s campaignprivate business interests, and foreign powers that further support the need for a counterintelligence investigation of the President’s finances,” the Chairs wrote.

Click here to read today’s letter.

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