A top Democrat is trying to find out exactly how much money from foreign governments the Trump Organization donated
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- Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings is requesting documentation of the Trump Organization's recent donations to the Treasury.
- Last month, the Trump Organization said it donated to the Treasury all profits from foreign governments at its hotels since President Donald Trump took office, as Trump previously pledged.
- But the company did not say how much was donated.
- Last week, Eric Trump said that amount was more than $151,000.
A top Democrat is requesting documentation of how much money from foreign governments the Trump Organization donated to the Treasury Department last month.
Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent letters Monday to George Sorial, Trump Organization executive vice president and chief compliance counsel, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting the information.
The Trump Organization announced last month that, as President Donald Trump previously pledged, it donated profits from foreign government officials patronizing its hotels to the Treasury Department. But the president's namesake business did not say how much money was donated. Trump's son, Eric Trump, a top executive at the Trump Organization, said last week that the company donated $151,470 of profits from foreign governments.
Prior to taking office, Trump announced through his attorney that he would "voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotel to the United States Treasury."
It was not clear, however, whether "his hotel" meant all of his properties or just a specific one, such as his Washington, DC, location.
Receiving such profits from foreign government officials has alarmed ethics experts. They have warned that such payments could violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits a president from accepting gifts or cash from foreign governments.
"There is no legitimate reason for the Trump Organization to withhold information about these payments from Congress," Cummings wrote in his letter to Sorial. "We have an obligation to determine whether foreign governments are spending money at President Trump's businesses, how much they are spending, and whether these payments violate the Emoluments Clause."
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