In August, when it looked likely that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, insisted that no one should have any doubt that he would be tough on the next president when it came to personal financial entanglements.
“If you’re going to run and try to become the president of the United States, you’re going to have to open up your kimono and show everything, your tax returns, your medical records. You are just gonna have to do that. It’s too important,” Chaffetz said.
But Chaffetz, who just 11 days before the election quickly blasted out the news that FBI Director James Comey had “reopened” the FBI investigation in Clinton’s emails (which was not quite true), has become quiet on the question of what’s under Trump’s kimono.
Two weeks ago, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, sent Chaffetz a letter requesting that the committee’s Republicans open an inquiry into Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and his claim that he planned to put his assets into a “blind trust.” Based on the description offered by Trump and his surrogates, this supposed blind trust would allow his children to manage the sprawling Trump business organization, but the arrangement would not force Trump to surrender his interest in any of his enterprises. In other words, it would not be a blind trust. (An actual blind trust places assets under the control of an independent third party and prevents the owner from knowing the assets in his or her portfolio.)
Chaffetz responded to Cummings’s request for an investigation with silence. So on Monday, Cummings sent Chaffetz a follow-up letter, signed by all 17 Democratic members of the committee, re-upping the request for a probe examining Trump’s potential financial conflicts.