Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are reportedly planning an in-depth investigation of Donald Trump that includes hiring a money laundering expert as they dig into Trump’s finances.
As Democrats plan to take control of the panel when new members of Congress are sworn in early next year, they are already lining up a number of investigations into Donald Trump that Republicans did not undertake during the two years they held Congress under Trump. As the Washington Examiner reported, Trump’s finances will be a major focus.
The report noted that incoming House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff has “expressed interest in Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, which last year agreed to pay hundreds of millions to settle allegations that it helped Russians engage in money laundering.”
The Daily Beast was the first to report on the committee’s reported plans to hire forensics and money laundering experts and spoke to security expert Mieke Eoyang about the benefit of bringing financial crimes expertise onto the panel.
Eoyang, the vice president of the Third Way think tank’s National Security Program and former staffer on the committee, said the hires will help the committee better inform U.S. intelligence committees.
“I think it’s really important that people understand how much Russia relies on money laundering and financial influence as part of its attempts to undermine Western interests throughout the world,” she said. “It’s one of those things where you really need to check that kind of activity. At the same time, you may have an administration that’s putting pressure on its own people not to look too hard at it, so you’d want more congressional oversight there.”
Donald Trump has been accused of using his real estate empire to launder money for members of the Russian mafia. Journalist Craig Unger wrote a book about the allegations, titled House of Trump, House of Putin, and claimed that Trump’s connections to the Russian mob were actually with the Russian government, which serves as the shadow arm of organized crime in Russia.
The House Intelligence Committee's incoming Democratic majority is looking to hire money-laundering and forensic accounting experts, three sources familiar with the plans confirm to The Daily Beast. https://t.co/rwlIJm0y2E
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 21, 2018
Unger told Vox that Donald Trump has had connections to the Russian mafia for more than 30 years and that these criminals helped Trump go from being $4 billion in debt to being a multi-billionaire, while also fueling his political ambitions. That ties in with allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
“This means Trump was in bed with the Kremlin as well, whether he knew it or not,” Unger claimed about Donald Trump’s money laundering efforts.