House chairman: Trump used White House to rake in 'a lot of money'


Now that Democrats are running the show, the House Oversight Committee is setting its sights on Trump's corruption.

According to the new leader of the House committee responsible for keeping the executive branch in check, Trump is making "a lot of money" for himself off of the presidency of the United States — and it's time to start investigating how that money affects Trump's decisions.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) made the remarks to Steve Kroft of "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday on CBS.

"You think he's making money off this job?" Kroft asked Cummings.

"A lot of money," the congressman responded, adding that this is "not OK."

"I still believe that people — the average citizen, the guys on my block — they oughta know if the president is making a deal, whether he's making it — making it in his self-interest, or that of the country," Cummings said.

Through multiple avenues, Trump has set himself up to profit handsomely from the unrivaled visibility the presidency offers.

Trump, unlike previous presidents from both parties, has not put his private assets into a blind trust or otherwise sealed them off from his influence. This means that in his capacity as president, Trump is free to rake in dirty money in a variety of ways.

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. has become a particular hub of corruption.

While the hotel's occupancy has been down overall, it has also been patronized by foreign and domestic interests with business before the government,  with the understanding that money made at the hotel finds its way directly into Trump's pockets.

Trump receiving money from foreign powers in this way could be a violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause.

The Republican Party has also been funneling donor money into holding events at the hotel, and Trump has been able to skim off the top.

When they held the majority in the House, Republicans ignored this obvious system of corruption and gave Trump a pass for it.

But Cummings is making it clear that Democrats will use the power given to them by the American voters to make sure Trump's corruption is properly investigated.

Cummings recently sent out 51 letters demanding the White House to comply with the committee's previous requests for information and documentation that have gone ignored. Among these was a request for the Trump Organization to provide documents relating to its "process for identifying payments from foreign governments and foreign-government controlled entities."

It's clear that Trump is corrupt and has made money on the backs of the American people. Now that he's facing real oversight, the public can start to learn just how far the corruption goes.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.