On Wednesday, House Democrats announced plans to push forward with three new investigations into the Trump White House, adding to a litany of ongoing probes that began the first day Democrats took control of the House of Representatives.
Although the House is already pursuing investigations into the Trump White House pursuant to Democrats’ primary grievances — that the president had inappropriate involvement with Russia during the 2016 campaign, that he’s committed potential violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, and even that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate Confirmation hearings were handled improperly — several members of the House Democratic caucus also feel the need, apparently, to “bat cleanup.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent a letter Wednesday to the White House counsel, requesting information about how the White House handled security clearances and background investigations and demanding a full account of how key White House figures, including Jared Kushner, obtained security clearances despite “contacts with foreign officials.”
“The Committee on Oversight and Reform is launching an in-depth investigation of the security clearance process at the White House and Transition Team in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration, including by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and others,” Cummings writes, though he never quite specifies why he’s ultimately concerned.
The House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) also sent a letter Wednesday inquiring whether Trump’s “business entanglements” influence his foreign policy decisions. CNN reports that Engel’s investigation will dovetail with the larger House investigation into whether Trump’s businesses violate the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits presidents from requesting special favors from countries with business in front of the United States, but will focus more intently on the “President’s private businesses and finances.”
“I’m concerned about — we want to make sure that policies are being made based on what’s good for the United States and not what might be good for the president personally,” Engel told CNN. “I mean, there are a lot of people who look at the Constitution and say that it’s being violated right now.”
This second investigation into Emoluments violations comes in addition to a separate series of lawsuits filed against the White House by various left-leaning entities seeking similar information.
Lastly, perennial Trump foil Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is joining up with the always-level headed Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to probe the Trump family’s dealings with Deutsche Bank, following what they call the “Trump money trail,” according to Politico.
“We’re going to work jointly,” Schiff said. “We think we’ll be more effective doing it that way.”
The dynamic duo wants to know, specifically, whether Trump took part in any “Russian money laundering schemes,” and whether Trump’s family has connections to countries like Saudi Arabia through the bank, though they haven’t decided on how, exactly, to pursue the investigation as a pair.
Schiff is also busy relitigating the House investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which concluded last year when Special Counsel Robert Mueller began his own investigation.