House Republicans seek Clinton Foundation investigations

Story highlights

  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn is circulating a letter seeking investigations of the Clinton Foundation
  • Blackburn is asking fellow House Republicans to sign the letter

(CNN)House Republicans are circulating a letter that urges several federal agencies to investigate the Clinton family's charitable foundation.

The letter, authored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, casts the foundation as "a lawless 'Pay to Play' enterprise that has been operating under a cloak of philanthropy for years and should be investigated."
Blackburn addresses the letter to FBI Director James Comey, IRS Director John Koskinen and Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. Her office plans to send it Friday. Its circulation was first reported by The Daily Caller.
    In the letter, Blackburn and her co-signatories argue that "the Foundation's activities cannot be ignored."
    They point to the foundation's international work, which wasn't cited in the paperwork filed at its 1997 inception.
    They also point to organizations receiving State Department grants while paying former President Bill Clinton.
    "Public corruption undermines the integrity of representative government and institutions associated with elected or public officials," the House Republican letter says. "However, the failure of government agencies to independently assess and investigate the validity of such allegations can have an even more damaging affect. We ask that each of your agencies review these allegations pursuant to your jurisdictional charge."
    A message left with the Clinton Foundation was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.
    A federal official told CNN Tuesday there are several ways a member of Congress can report allegations of wrongdoing. A report may be made directly to an FBI office. A member of Congress also can send the information to the Department of Justice, which would refer the matter to the FBI.
    The FBI then assesses the information provided to determine whether it is sufficient to open an investigation. The FBI handles referrals from other law enforcement agencies or members of the general public the same way in looking at whether there is enough information provided to open an investigation.