Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are, after a year of Trump openly ignoring the obvious conflicts of interest posed by refusing to divest from his for-profit businesses, fed up. In a letter to Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the oversight committee chair who ceased having interest in overseeing anything once the election was over and Benghazi! was no longer omnipresent on Republican lips, Democrats want Gowdy to stop slow-walking the investigation and do his damn job already.
The lawmakers want Gowdy to issue a subpoena compelling the Trump Organization to produce, by Jan. 20, documents requested more than eight months ago on subjects including how the company was donating foreign government profits at its hotels to the U.S. Treasury.
Gowdy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As a reminder, foreign government figures and lobbyists have been frequenting Trump’s newly opened D.C. hotel in an effort to curry favor with the man; the company announced they would be donating the profits of those particular visits to the government, but reversed itself later because identifying those transactions proved, they asserted, too difficult. So we don’t know if they’re making any effort at all at this point, or are guessing, or have dropped the entire charade. It for the most part doesn’t matter; even if the “profits” of those stays is donated, Donald Trump still benefits personally from having a hotel with more customers than it otherwise would have had.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort has, on the other hand, simply gone full grift, with the company raising membership rates and other fees since Trump’s election in an effort to squeeze increased cash from customers seeking access to the president; pro-Trump political groups are booking the resort’s facilities, thereby funneling cash directly into his business, in actions openly intended to reward Trump for his actions as president.
Why has Rep. Trey Gowdy been stonewalling efforts to force some level of ethical compliance from Trump? Apparently, because he can. We all know full well he would have been vigilant in his efforts to police a Clinton presidency; his devotion to party, however, means corruption by his Republican president will be allowed to proceed unchecked. Gowdy could prove us wrong on this one quite easily, and could have at any point during the past full year: He hasn’t.