Cummings Seeks Docs on VA Officials’ Relationship with Mar-a-Lago Members
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 14, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, requesting information about the nature and scope of the relationship between officials at the Department and Mar-a-Lago members Bruce Moskowitz, Ike Perlmutter, and Marc Sherman.
“The specter of improper influence by Mr. Moskowitz, Mr. Perlmutter, and Mr. Sherman over Department decisions raises questions about the use of taxpayer resources for private gain and calls into question the Trump Administration’s commitment to the health and welfare of our nation’s veterans,” Cummings wrote. “All Americans—especially our veterans—deserve agencies that operate in their best interest with transparency, accountability, and oversight.”
On August 7, 2018, ProPublica reported that Mr. Moskowitz, Mr. Perlmutter, and Mr. Sherman exercised unprecedented control over Department policy, personnel decisions, and the implementation of specific programs. Mr. Moskowitz, Mr. Perlmutter, and Mr. Sherman hold no positions within the Department and seem to have no government or military experience, and their only connection appears to stem from Mr. Perlmutter’s long-term relationship with President Donald Trump. Mr. Perlmutter, the Chairman of Marvel Entertainment and a member at Mar-a-Lago, in turn appears to have recruited other Mar-a-Largo members, Mr. Moskowitz, a local doctor, and Mr. Sherman, a white-collar attorney.
According to this report, Department officials sought their express approval on various high-level decisions, used taxpayer money to fly to Mar-a-Lago to meet with them, and treated their communications as directives. As one former official stated: “Everything needs to be run by them.”
Cummings requested documents and communications including those sent to or from Mr. Moskowitz, Mr. Perlmutter, or Mr. Sherman and VA officials, documents related to Department officials’ taxpayer funded travel to Mar-a-Lago, and documents relating to any Department policies, personnel decisions, or procedures that may have been influenced by Mr. Moskowitz, Mr. Perlmutter, and Mr. Sherman.
Click here to read today’s letter.