Key House intelligence committee Democrat Eric Swalwell said the panel already has ‘probable cause’ to probe possible Russian money laundering via Donald Trump’s businesses, because the president’s family has given them enough to go on based on what they’ve said in the past.
The California politician was the most vocal the panel has ever been about how they’ll launch an investigation into the American leader’s finances, detailing how Trump or one of his relatives may have taken a step wrong in what they have revealed long before he ran for the White House.
‘We will open up a money-laundering inquiry as to whether the Russians were laundering money through the Trump organization,’ Swalwell, who’s also on the judiciary committee, said on the Yahoo News podcast Skullduggery.
‘To use a prosecutor’s phrase, I think we have probable cause to do that, based on the Trump family’s own admissions that they had money coming in from Russia.’
House intelligence committee Democrat Eric Swalwell has revealed how the panel will launch their investigation into President Donald Trump’s businesses
While the former Republican majority House seemed to go easy on Trump when they began looking into his business background, Swalwall said the plan is to ask the Trump Organization and their big lender Deutsche Bank to turn over records.
He noted there are plenty of lines the last House failed to follow up on, including a blocked number call Donald Trump Jr made after a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting investigated by Robert Mueller.
The meeting was alleged to have centered around obtaining information to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Trump Sr has denied any acknowledgement of it.
If they don’t comply subpoenas will be issued.
Although it’s possible the president may be reluctant, Swalwell hinted he was sure there was plenty to unearth.
‘As far as how many years back does it go, we know that you have evidence in the early 2000s of … Trump properties being purchased by Russians, so the Trump interest in Russia and the Russia interest in Trump does go back decades. From my perspective, I would want to know where did the financial compromise begin,’ he said.
He said it’s ‘based on the Trump family’s own admissions that they had money coming in from Russia’ from decades ago. Trump is pictured with Russian president Vladimir Putin last July
He wants to follow up on a blocked number call Donald Trump Jr made after a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting investigated by Robert Mueller
Panel chairman Democratic Representative from California Adam Schiff (with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) has said in the past: ‘The American people have a right to know that their President is working on their behalf, not his family’s financial interests’
‘You’re talking about years of records, years of relationships that the Trump family has had. I think we want to have a comprehensive picture of whether or not the president is financially compromised by the Russians.’
After Trump’s apparent support of the Saudi Arabian leaders following the murder of US-based Jamal Khashogghi, Swalwell said the president’s relationship with the Middle Eastern royals was of interest too.
Noting the hundreds of hotel rooms booked by Saudi lobbyists at the Trump Hotel in Washington DC last year, the politician said bank statements and tax returns were of interest.
He added that he can see why someone like Trump would get along with the likes of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Swalwell said Trump’s relationship with the Saudi Arabia royals was of interest too. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pictured left
As well as a possible business benefit with Russia, Swalwell said he can see why Trump gets along with the Saudi royal
Noting the hundreds of hotel rooms booked by Saudi lobbyists at the Trump Hotel in Washington DC last year, the politician said bank statements and tax returns were of interest
‘You have a narcissistic personality, and they’re throwing him this massive welcome ceremony, and I think we all can see, you know, why he would kind of gravitate toward them,’ Swalwell said.
The plan would have to be approved by California Democrat Representative Adam Schiff, who was sworn in as the panel chairman this week.
If Schiff’s past comments are anything to go by, he is keen on the probe.
‘The American people have a right to know that their President is working on their behalf, not his family’s financial interests,’ he previously told New Yorker magazine. ‘Right now, I don’t think any of us can have the confidence that that’s the case.’
Swalwell, California’s 15th district rep since 2013, thinks he can do a better job if given the chance to be the 46th President.
Declaring he plans on running for the 2020 position, he added: ‘I think I can make a difference, but I also think I can win. Most importantly, I want to see our country come together.’