House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings is asking for 10 years’ worth of President Donald Trump’s financial information from an accounting firm that prepared Trump’s financial statements.
Cummings released a letter sent earlier this month to Victor Wahba, CEO of the accounting firm Mazars USA, asking for documents relating to the firm’s preparation of Trump’s financial statements dating back to 2009. Cummings said he was seeking the information after Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, said that Trump had inflated his net worth in an attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills — and Cohen gave the committee financial statements from 2011-2013 that were prepared by Mazars.
“Mr. Cohen produced to the Committee financial statements from 2011, 2012, and 2013 that raise questions about the President’s representations of his financial affairs on these forms and on other disclosures, particularly relating to the President’s debts,” Cummings wrote.
Republicans on the committee accused Cummings of seeking “information to embarrass a private individual,” and criticized his decision to investigate both Trump’s finances before he was a presidential candidate and why Fox News did not publish a story in October 2016 about the accusation by adult film actress Stephanie Clifford – known professionally as Stormy Daniels – of an affair with Trump, which the President has denied.
The committee’s top Republicans, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina sent Wahba their own letter objecting to Cummings’ request. They also sent Cummings a letter Wednesday urging him to “reconsider your ill-conceived inquiry into the finances of President Trump when he was a private citizen.”
“There is still time to pivot away from your repeated partisan attacks on the President and his administration, and instead focus on improving the operations of the federal government for the American people,” the Republicans wrote.
The request from Cummings for Trump’s financial information is separate from the Democratic push to obtain Trump’s tax returns, which have not formally been requested and would originate from the House Ways and Means Committee. But Cummings’ interest in Trump’s finances, as well as the circumstances surrounding Daniels, underscores the fact that Democrats are continuing to probe Trump even though special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is over.
Republicans are ramping up their attacks on Democrats after Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Trump’s team and Russia – according to a summary of Mueller’s report released Sunday by Attorney General William Barr – but so far Democrats have not indicated they will back off their sprawling investigations into Trump, his administration and his finances, even if they are focusing their messaging efforts elsewhere on issues like health care.
Asked about the Republican letter, Cummings told CNN Wednesday, “They complain about everything.”
“We are following-up on specific allegations regarding the President’s actions based on corroborating documents obtained by the Committee, and we will continue our efforts to conduct credible, robust, and independent oversight,” Cummings said in a statement.
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.