Democrats ask Treasury for docs on financial dealings with Russia

Democratic lawmakers are asking the Treasury Department to turn over any intelligence data it has about President Don...

Posted: Dec 10, 2017 9:36 AM
Updated: Dec 10, 2017 9:36 AM

Democratic lawmakers are asking the Treasury Department to turn over any intelligence data it has about President Donald Trump and his associates, citing two recent reports of financial dealings with Russians.

Rep. Maxine Waters of California, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, and four other Democrats renewed their request for suspicious activity reports and other financial intelligence data tracked by the agency's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Democrats have sought info from Treasury and Deutsche Bank on Trump's finances

Their request comes after reports highlighting one of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' investments that has ties to Russia and separate reports alleging money-laundering through a Trump-licensed property in Panama.

"It is unfortunate that despite the constant revelations about this administration, you continue to refuse to provide us with records relating to potential money laundering violations by Russian persons and the Trump Organization, including violations involving Trump-licensed properties, which we requested in May," the Democrats wrote in their letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "It seems to be clear to everyone but you that these continuing revelations demand immediate attention."

RELATED: Democratic senators seek more scrutiny of commerce secretary's finances

The Treasury Department and its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network division did not immediately respond to requests from CNN for comment.

The House Democrats have repeatedly sought information from Treasury and Deutsche Bank relating to Trump's finances but have not been joined by Republicans. Without the support of the Republicans, neither entity is compelled to respond. In May the Democrats had asked Treasury to provide financial intelligence related to Trump and his associates. Mnuchin said at a hearing in July that his agency has cooperated and provided financial intelligence to three other congressional committees investigating Russia's interference with the 2016 US election.

The latest letter references reporting in November by a group of investigative journalists that unearthed information connecting one of Ross's shipping assets, a company called Navigator, to a Kremlin-linked company. The revelations surfaced as a result of the so-called Paradise Papers, leaked documents that exposed how wealthy people, governments and corporations have avoided taxes and scrutiny by using offshore companies.

A spokesperson for the Commerce Department said Ross wasn't involved in Navigator's decision to "engage in business" with the Russian company.

The secretary works closely with the agency's "ethics officials to ensure the highest ethical standards, and is committed to restoring our economy and creating American jobs," said the spokesperson in a statement to CNN at the time.

The Democrats' letter also cites a report by Global Witness, a nonprofit group, that alleged a property in Panama that licensed the Trump name had links to narcotics trafficking and organized crime.

The Trump Organization denied any connection to the financing of the property.

"As we have repeatedly explained, the company's role in the project was at all times limited to licensing its brand and providing management services," the Trump Organization said in a statement.

It also distanced itself from any actions by a broker named in the Global Witness report who sold units in the building. "Accordingly, if the individual in question was, in fact, an outside real estate broker as you say, the company, its employees and representatives would have had no contractual relationship or other significant dealings with either him or his company," the statement said.

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