Presidential contender Donald Trump gestures to the media on the 17th fairway on the first day of the Women's British Open golf championship on the Turnberry golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, July 30, 2015.
Photo by Scott Heppell/AP

Dems launch probe following Trump’s self-dealing controversies

For those troubled by corruption allegations surrounding the White House, recent events have been especially discouraging. Last week, Donald Trump announced a new effort to have the next G7 summit held at one of his Florida properties, which seemed to represent an unprecedented abuse of a president trying to use his office to boost one of his struggling businesses.

As the Washington Post reported, “If Trump does choose Doral, he would be directing six world leaders, hundreds of hangers-on and massive amounts of money to a resort he owns personally – and which, according to his company’s representatives, has been ‘severely underperforming.’”

Meanwhile, this week, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Ireland for meetings in Dublin, but he stayed three hours away at a Trump-owned property on the other side of the country. According to Pence’s chief of staff, it was the president who personally “suggested” that the vice president and his traveling companions book rooms at Trump’s business.

The one-two punch seems like the sort of thing that should receive all kinds of congressional oversight scrutiny. Fortunately, as CNBC reported, there’s now an investigation underway.

House Democrats are investigating Vice President Mike Pence’s stay at President Donald Trump’s golf resort in Ireland, as well as Trump’s recent promotion of another property he owns as a possible venue for the next G-7 summit.

In letters made public Friday, leaders of two Democrat-led House committees requested documents and other information from the White House, the Secret Service and the Trump Organization about the two matters.

To their credit, House Dems appear to be taking the matter fairly seriously, with two separate committees – Judiciary and Oversight – launching investigations of the back-to-back abuses.

“The Committee does not believe that U.S. taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies,” Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote – articulating a principle that should be obvious, but isn’t in the Trump era.

What’s more, as Roll Call noted, the committees suggested their inquiry could have implications on possible presidential impeachment.

“Potential violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution are of grave concern to the Committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment,” Cummings and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) wrote.

The deadline the congressional request for information is Sept. 19, which is two weeks from yesterday.