President Donald Trump is not going to get out of scrutiny from Congressional Democrats unless he resigns — and maybe not even then. Speaking with journalist Greg Sargent, incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) insisted that the new Democratic House majority next year will be looking into the president’s finances for possible ties to his foreign policy decisions.
As the Congressman — who faced ridiculous antagonistic name calling from the president just recently — put it:
‘There are a whole set of potential financial conflicts of interest and emoluments problems that Congress will need to get to the bottom of. Certainly if foreign investment in the Trump businesses is guiding U.S. policy in a way that’s antithetical to the country’s interests, we need to find out about it.’
Trump has previously been accused of violating the Constitutional prohibition against presidents accepting money from foreign interests thanks to his global business empire’s persistence.
The issue has emerged most recently in response to his utter refusal to even approach holding the Saudi Arabian government responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Turkey.
Although his administration has imposed sanctions on a small group of Saudis that one would hope constitute an acknowledgement of Saudi guilt, directly asked recently who should be held responsible for Khashoggi’s death, Trump said:
‘Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a very, very vicious place.’
No! Just no. The answer to the murder of a journalist is not to launch into half baked conspiracy theory about how innately “vicious” the world is or isn’t. Someone’s singular, personal decision to commit a murder — or direct one, in the case of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — is not some inescapable reality that must be allowed to run its course because… reasons.
Scrutiny of how on earth the president ended up at this point has led concerned observers to his finances — the full scope of which remains hidden since he’s never released his tax returns.
At an Alabama campaign rally in 2015, Trump told those assembled:
‘Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.’
Much more recently — since the political tone around the Saudis had shifted — Trump offered:
‘Just so you understand, I don’t make deals with Saudi Arabia. I don’t have money from Saudi Arabia. I have nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. I couldn’t care less… Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with me.’
The glaring discrepancy makes the case all on its own that the president is hiding something — and Schiff and his colleagues intend to determine what’s there.
The high profile Democrat told The Washington Post that which committees will handle what aspects of the financial situation remains an open question. Meanwhile, he’s preparing steps like seeking to understand exactly what the nation’s intelligence community has — or hasn’t — concluded about Khashoggi’s death in the face of reports the CIA has concluded the crown prince pushed the murder.
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