It is supremely ironic that House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has issued a subpoena to obtain 10 years of President Donald Trump’s financial records from his accounting firm Mazars USA. Ostensibly to carry out the committee oversight activities which remain rather vague and constitutionally questionable, especially since the demand for the production of the records includes years when Trump was not running for office or inaugurated as the President of the United States.
It appears that the predicate for the Trump subpoena, according to Cummings, is the statement of a proven liar who has breached client-attorney privilege to protect himself from criminal charges for activities having nothing to do with Donald Trump, as a businessman, as a candidate, or as the president.
“On February 27, 2019, President Trump's longtime former attorney, Michael Cohen, testified before the Committee that the President altered the estimated value of his assets and liabilities on financial statements-including inflating or deflating the value of assets depending on the purpose for which he intended to use the statements.”
“… raise grave questions about whether the President has been accurate in his financial reporting.”
The Committee has full authority to investigate whether the President may have engaged in illegal conduct before and during his tenure in office, to determine whether he has undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions, to assess whether he is complying with the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution, and to review whether he has accurately reported his finances to the Office of Government Ethics and other federal entities.
The Committee's interest in these matters informs its review of multiple laws and legislative proposals under our jurisdiction, and to suggest otherwise is both inaccurate and contrary to the core mission of the Committee to serve as an independent check on the Executive Branch.
<Source: Cummings 4/12/2019 Staff Memo>
Top Democrat's wife may have gained 'illegal private benefit' from his committee activities
A charity run by the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings received millions from special interest groups and corporations that had business before her husband’s committee and could have been used illegally, according to an IRS complaint filed by an ethics watchdog group.
Cummings, 68, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His wife, Maya Rockeymoore, 48, is the chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and briefly ran in the state's gubernatorial race last year. The couple married in 2008.
Cummings was once heavily in debt — in part due to hefty child support payments to his first wife and two other women he had children with — but his financial situation has improved considerably over the past decade.
Rockeymoore runs two entities, a nonprofit group called the Center for Global Policy Solutions and a for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC, whose operations appear to have overlapped, according to the IRS complaint filed by watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center on Monday.
The complaint states that the arrangement may have been used to derive "illegal private benefit." Global Policy Solutions received more than $6.2 million in grants between 2013 and 2016, according to tax records.
Several of the nonprofit group’s financial backers — which included Google, J.P Morgan, and Prudential — have business interests before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cummings has served as Democratic chairman of the committee since January and previously served as ranking member.
[OCS: Why would large corporations pump significant amounts of money into organizations that would seem to have little
The largest contributor to the nonprofit organization was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a company that is regulated by Cummings’ committee. The foundation, which gave a total of $5.5 million to Rockeymoore’s
Top Democrat Elijah Cummings' wife may have gained 'illegal private benefit' from his committee activities
Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project, which has been investigating the nonprofit arrangement and provided research to the Washington Examiner, said the potential for corruption is “off the charts.”
He said Rockeymoore declined to let his organization view her nonprofit organization’s most recent public financial records as required by the IRS. “When a powerful chairman of a committee of the House of Representatives has a wife that is bringing in money from entities with interests before his Committee and she is not providing the transparency mandated by the IRS, there's a serious problem,” said Anderson. “The potential for corruption in this situation is simply off the charts and can't be understated.
We hope Chairman Cummings works with his wife to end the stonewalling and provide the public with what's legally mandated all charities provide.” Both Cummings and Rockeymoore refused to discuss the allegations with the Washington Examiner.
Cummings did not answer questions about the overlap between companies with interests before his committee and donors to his wife’s foundation. Rockeymoore did not respond to request for comment.
The complaint asked the IRS to investigate the “shared leadership,” “integrated operations,” and “shared address and physical facilities” of her two companies. Rockeymoore’s nonprofit and the LLC have mutual clients, donors and projects, and were located at the same address and share a phone number.
According to its website, the Center for Global Policy Solutions is a nonprofit group that seeks to “create healthier communities, strengthen Social Security, and close racial wealth disparities." The for-profit consulting firm, Global Policy Solutions LLC, describes itself as “a social change strategy firm dedicated to making policy work for people and their environments.” The complaint states that they “appear to operate almost as a single entity, allowing for an illegal private benefit for Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and her husband."
Rockeymoore’s consulting firm was selected for a $1 million federal contract with the General Services Administration in 2017 for work on the “Leadership for Healthy Communities” project to combat childhood obesity, according to federal records. At the same time, Rockeymoore’s nonprofit group “served as the national program office for Leadership for Healthy Communities,” according to its website. If both groups were involved in managing the project, “the arrangement is ‘self-dealing’ and cannot be ‘arms length’” as required by IRS law and “prompt the question of whether its organizers are getting fat off the grants,” according to the watchdog group’s complaint.
Cummings struggled with serious financial problems after joining Congress over 20 years ago. His house was placed in foreclosure, at one point; he owed $30,000 in unpaid taxes to the IRS; and he was taken to court multiple times for thousands in unpaid debts. Cummings said his financial difficulties were due to his hefty child support payments. Since marrying Rockeymoore 11 years ago, Cummings’ financial outlook has improved considerably, according to financial disclosure reports and property records.
The couple currently owns two rental properties in Baltimore worth between $250,000 and $500,000 each, and last year, they sold their three-bedroom Victorian row house in northwest Washington, D.C. for $896,000.
Cummings disclosed in his financial reports that his wife earns an unspecified salary from Global Policy Solutions LLC; he did not disclose that she receives a salary from her nonprofit organization, which was $152,000 in 2016, according to the group’s tax records from that year.
Time to subpoena at least ten years of Cummings, Rockeymoore’s, and the involved entity's financial records, including tax filings, bank records, and material prepared by their accountants. In fact, the IRS and the DOJ have a more legitimate right to these documents than the Committee has a legitimate right to Donald Trump’s business records.
In the normal course of things, Cummings would be allowed to amend his previous erroneous filings without penalty and if the matter were ever turned over to the House Ethics Committee, he would probably be given the same treatment as Maxine Waters who clearly attempted to use her official position to pressure a federal financial agency into assisting her husband’s failing financial institution. Perhaps we should also look over the records of all high-ranking party officials and committee members.
Like President Trump says, this is a witch hunt for the sole purposes of obtaining opposition research on the taxpayer’s dime and to interfere with an election by disparaging a single candidate for office.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell