Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) continues to distinguish himself in this Congress, as he serves as the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, with Republicans leading, of course, both the panel and the overall chamber.
In a new letter to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the current chairperson of the committee, Raskin outlined concerns about Republicans on the panel apparently facilitating — through Trump’s own legal team — a shutdown to the enforcement of a settlement arrangement originating in court that provided for Mazars, an accounting firm affiliated with Trump for a long time, to give the committee a series of financial documents.
As Raskin highlighted, some of what the panel already got in the investigation that started before Republicans took control showed large payments from foreign interests to the Trump family business — adding to the list of concerning financial transactions, a series also including the large amounts of money (evidently in the millions) paid to Trump’s business for hosting events associated with LIV Golf. It’s apparently a public investment fund led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that’s responsible for making such payments.
And that doesn’t even cover the billions sourced to the same fund given for an investment operation founded just after Jared Kushner, the ex-president’s son-in-law, left government service. Despite his lack of prior experience, Kushner had been a top adviser in Trump’s White House, alongside his wife, Ivanka Trump. Yet, Republicans on the committee seem unconcerned with aggressively pursuing the facts of these arrangements, instead now able to rely on the representations to Mazars of a Trump lawyer ostensibly made on behalf of the House itself.
“I do not know the status of Mazars production, but my understanding is that the Committee has no interest in forcing Mazars to complete it and is willing to release it from further obligations under the settlement agreement,” Trump lawyer Patrick Stawbridge told the Mazars legal team in January of this year. Strawbridge claimed to have gotten details of this stance from an individual Raskin identified as Acting General Counsel of the House of Representatives also serving as counsel to the oversight panel now led by Republicans. Raskin also discussed in his letter how the Republican majority on the committee approved an expansive subpoena demanding many years of comprehensive financial records for multiple people.
“The substantive incoherence of this approach is exacerbated by the breach of Committee process created by the direct involvement of private lawyers for Donald Trump,” Raskin wrote, while discussing the hypocrisy of dropping a push for Trump records while seeking so many materials tangentially tied to President Biden. “You appear to have allowed former President Trump’s own legal representatives to speak on behalf of the Committee to the subpoena target and prevent the production of further relevant documents showing President Trump’s financial misconduct. If this is true, your coordination with former President Trump’s attorneys in this matter raises questions about not only the origin and character of the sweeping subpoena you recently issued relating to business associates of President Biden’s son, but also the very institutional integrity and independence of our Committee as we are operating in the 118th Congress.” That son is Hunter Biden. Read Raskin’s letter in full at this link.