The Roundup: September 5-11
Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will vote to formalize an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s corruption and criminality. We could never have gotten to this point without the dedication of progressives like you who demanded your representatives take action by making phone calls, sending emails, and attending town halls. Thanks to you, 136 representatives are in support — including a majority of House Democrats.
The Committee’s vote doesn’t come a moment too soon, as new reports of Trump’s corruption continue to surface. This week, we learned that Trump is using the United States Air Force to prop up his failing Turnberry resort in Scotland. Evidence shows that in 2014, Trump played a direct role in arranging a deal between his resort and the nearby airport — an airport he needed in order for his nearby resort to succeed. Now, his administration is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to use that same airport as an Air Force refueling stopover as well as a means to get Air Force crew members to stay at his property — funneling U.S. military funds and taxpayer dollars directly into his own pocket.
Stateside, the number of foreign and domestic officials spending time and money at Trump-owned properties has skyrocketed since Trump took office. This isn’t a coincidence. Unlike other presidents, Trump never divested from his businesses. That means any and all foreign and domestic government spending at those properties ends up in his bank account. As foreign governments, wealthy influence-seekers, and even cabinet members flock to his properties, the message is clear: A stay at a Trump hotel or resort is an easy way to curry favor with the president.
Trump continues to profit off the presidency — and violate the Constitution in the process. With this vote to formalize an impeachment inquiry, the House will actively collect the evidence, build a case, and hopefully hold Trump accountable for his blatant corruption.
Get the latest news with this week’s Roundup:
The New York Times: Democrats Plan Vote to Formalize Procedures for Impeachment Investigation
The House Judiciary Committee plans to vote to formalize procedures for a growing impeachment inquiry, a draft resolution shows. Committee leaders hope the move will send a signal to Congress and the White House that their investigation is not only proceeding but intensifying.
CNN: House panel to hold vote on defining parameters of impeachment investigation
The House Judiciary Committee will vote Thursday on a resolution to define the parameters of its impeachment investigation into Trump. The resolution will formalize the committee’s probe, laying out the ground rules for potential impeachment hearings as part of the investigation that House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler says will determine whether the committee introduces articles of impeachment.
The Washington Post: Congressional Progressive Caucus backs impeachment inquiry into Trump
“The Congressional Progressive Caucus strongly endorses the House Judiciary Committee’s current formal impeachment investigation and the adoption of the Resolution of Investigative Procedures,” the statement reads. “Our duty is to uphold the Constitution and we must do all we can to protect our democracy.”
Politico: Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip: Trump’s Scottish resort
Since April, the House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew on a C-17 military transport plane made the unusual stay at the luxury waterside resort. According to a letter the panel sent to the Pentagon in June, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport — the closest airport to Trump Turnberry — since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for U.S. military members.
Slate: Is the Air Force Helping to Keep Trump’s Scottish Resort Afloat?
What seems particularly curious is that the airport is losing money and the Scottish government has expressed interest in selling it, a move that could be devastating to Trump’s property. There seems to be a real possibility “that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat,” reports Politico. After all, Turnberry seems to be doing much better since Trump came into office: “The property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.”
The New York Times: Checking In at Trump Hotels, for Kinship (and Maybe Some Sway)
Since Trump took office, there have been thousands of visits to his properties, not only by Trump himself, but by foreign leaders, lobbyists, Republican candidates, members of Congress, cabinet members and others with ties to the president. At least 90 members of Congress, 250 Trump administration officials, and more than 110 foreign officials have been spotted at Trump properties since 2017.
MSNBC: Report: Republicans didn’t go to Trump hotels until he became POTUS
26 out of 53 Republican senators have visited Trump’s hotel in D.C, including the RNC which has reportedly spent $400K. This revelation comes as House Dems probe Trump’s efforts to use taxpayer’s dollars to line his pockets.
Mother Jones: Donald Trump Has Never Explained a Mysterious $50 Million Loan. Is It Evidence of Tax Fraud?
Trump’s massive debts are the subject of continuous congressional and journalistic scrutiny. But one Trump loan is particularly mystifying: a debt of more than $50 million that Trump claims he owes to one of his own companies. According to tax and financial experts, the loan might be part of a tax avoidance scheme known as debt parking. Yet a Mother Jones investigation uncovered information that raises questions about the very existence of this loan, presenting the possibility that this debt was concocted as a ploy to evade income taxes—a move that could constitute tax fraud.
The Hill: House Judiciary issues subpoena for information on Trump offer of pardons
The head of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday subpoenaed the Department of Homeland Security for documents related to allegations that Trump promised pardons to officials who carry out orders connected to the construction of a wall at the southern border that could be illegal.
The Daily Beast: Trump Raids Funds Meant to Deter Russia to Pay for His Wall
The Trump administration is set to move $771 million of funding away from projects earmarked to the European Deterrence Initiative, a program designed to reassure European allies that the U.S. would back them up in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Deferred cash from the program accounts for two out of every five dollars diverted to the wall from overseas—raising more questions about Trump’s inconsistent posture on the threat posed by Russia.