Oversight Committee Threatens Subpoena if DOD Continues Withholding Documents on Taxpayer Funds Spent at Trump Turnberry
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 10, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper demanding immediate compliance with the request they sent in June seeking documents relating to taxpayer funds spent at President Trump’s Turnberry golf resort in Scotland in apparent violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. The Department has produced no documents to date.
“Although the Department seems to have been driven to respond to recent press reports, the Committee does not understand why the Department has delayed responding to this request for so long without any legitimate explanation,” Cummings and Raskin wrote. “If the Department does not begin producing the requested documents this week, the Committee will be forced to consider alternative measures to compel compliance, including a subpoena.”
At least 60 Air Force servicemembers reportedly stayed at the President’s resort in Scotland on at least four separate occasions, despite dozens of hotels closer to the airport used.
Cummings and Raskin also raised concerns with President Trump’s claim yesterday on Twitter that he has had “nothing to do with” Prestwick Airport, which is the airport closest to his resort in Turnberry.
“President Trump and his company have had significant, direct, and detailed interactions with Prestwick Airport for years, including the President proclaiming that he was ‘thrilled to be partnering’ with the airport, the President personally trying to boost passenger traffic at the airport, and the Trump Organization negotiating room rates directly with the airport,” Cummings and Raskin wrote. “These and other actions by the President and his company reflect how critical this airport is to his financial bottom-line.”
In addition to demanding the requested documents, Cummings and Raskin urged the Department to implement a policy to prevent these Constitutional violations from happening again.
“The Committee is encouraged by reports that the Department is now conducting an internal review of its policies, but that is not enough,” Cummings and Raskin wrote. “In order to stop contributing to any further constitutional violations, the Department should immediately implement a policy against taxpayer funds going to any Trump-related properties or businesses.”
Click here to read today’s letter.