For all of us who are still stunned and numbed by the results of the 2016 presidential election, it’s time to pull our heads out of the sand and get busy and flood the congressional phone lines of Representative Jason Chaffetz (R. Utah).
On Monday, November 28, seventeen Democrats who sit on the House Oversight Committee sent a lengthy and vitally important letter to Representative Chaffetz who serves as the current House Oversight Committee chairman. The letter outlines the members’ concerns about president-elect Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and his business assets across the globe. The letter cites a call by a group of nineteen government-accountability experts and organizations for Mr. Trump to take actions appropriate to the office of the presidency, which include placing his assets into a blind trust. This letter follows the call two weeks ago by Representative Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democratic member on the Oversight Committee, for a probe into Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.
Citing Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and deeply troubling reports of recent conversations with foreign leaders and business people since the election that appear to have included discussions of issues that could benefit Donald Trump and his family’s business interests, the letter calls for the immediate opening of a probe into those and other possible conflicts of interest.
Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns has already demonstrated a troubling lack of transparency and accountability, making it even more critical that the Committee conduct rigorous oversight right away – before he is sworn in as President.
More troubling still are Mr. Trump’s repeated outright dismissals of concerns about his refusal to create a blind trust, his refusal to disengage appropriately from his family’s conduct of the global Trump real-estate empire, and his refusal to recognize conflicts inherent in his daughter’s, sons’, and son-in-law’s roles on the Trump transition team.
The fact is that Representative Chaffetz was eager to use the full force of his position on the committee to investigate Hillary Clinton. As reported by Matt Fuller of the Huffington Post, in August, Representative Chaffetz made the following statement: “My job is not to be a cheerleader for the president. My job is to hold them accountable and to provide that oversight.”
It’s time to demand that Mr. Chaffetz hold true to that promise and conduct the business of his office in an appropriate, non-partisan, and ethical manner, demonstrating no favoritism based on party affiliation or political leanings. This is not the time to allow a committee chairman to turn a partisan blind eye to the corruption of our democracy.
So start making the calls right now to demand that Representative Chaffetz and the other Republican members of the House Oversight Committee fulfill their solemn obligation to hold Mr. Trump accountable for the ethical conduct of the office of the presidency.
Call Representative Jason Chaffetz’s office at (202) 225-7751 or (801) 851-2500.