Donald Trump’s finances could be investigated after hundreds of calls to government

Callers around the country are demanding a bipartisan review of the President-elect’s finances and alleged conflicts of interest

Rachael Revesz
New York
Friday 18 November 2016 14:55
Mr Trump has still not released his tax returns
Mr Trump has still not released his tax returns

Hundreds of protesters are demanding that the government investigates Donald Trump's finances.

The house of oversight and government reform is receiving an influx of calls, asking them to carry out a bipartisan review of Mr Trump’s finances, tax returns and alleged conflicts of interest.

The calls come as Mr Trump has still not released his tax returns – he claimed during the campaign they were under audit – and admitted during a presidential debate that he had taken advantage of a tax loophole to avoid paying income tax.

The Washington Post also led an investigation against his charitable foundation, which allegedly used money to bribe an official not to investigate his now defunct Trump University, and to buy himself gifts such as a signed NFL helmet and two self-portraits.

Another matter which has raised eyebrows is Mr Trump’s alleged ties to Vladimir Putin's inner circle and Russian financing after American banks stopped lending him money due to his many bankruptcies.

One caller to the house committee, Sarah Galley, demanding a review of Mr Trump, said on Twitter that the person she spoke to at the committee told her that the more calls the house gets, the “more likely the committee is to demand ALL of Trump’s financial information”.

“She said that there’s not much time left, as they are out of the office next week for Thanksgiving. After that, they’re going to make a decision.”

The committee has eight more Republican members than Democrats. The chairman, Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz, has been pressed by ranking member, Democrat Elijah Cummings, to investigate Mr Trump.

“We have never had a president like Mr Trump in terms of his vast financial entanglements and his widespread business interests around the globe,” he wrote to the chairman.

“Moreover, we have not had a presidential candidate in modern times who has refused to disclose his tax returns to the American people. Mr Trump’s unprecedented secrecy and his extensive business dealings in foreign countries raise serious questions about how he intends to avoid conflicts of interest as president.”

Mr Trump recently tweeted that he had “zero investments” in Russia, but did not elaborate on his connections with Mr Putin's circle.

Mr Chaffetz said his focus was on investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of her emails to “make sure it never happens again”.

Mr Cummings has also pushed the committee to investigate Mr Trump’s so-called “blind trust” of his assets and business interests after he enters the White House, as well as his “highly unusual request” for his children to gain access to highly classified information and for his request for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to attend a highly classified brief. Mr Trump tweeted that the New York Times had printed false information and that he had never made such a request for his children.

Thousands of people have held anti-Trump protests around the country after Mr Trump was elected on 8 November. Mr Trump said the protesters were being paid and it was “unfair”.

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