Politics: House Democrats asking questions about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsHouse Democrats asking questions about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

01:55  10 january  2019
01:55  10 january  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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As Secretary of the Treasury , Mr. Mnuchin is responsible for the executive branch agency whose mission is to maintain a strong economy, foster economic growth, and create job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable prosperity and stability at home and abroad.

Steven T. Mnuchin , President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee for treasury secretary , during his confirmation hearing on Thursday. During five hours of contentious questioning , Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee pressed Mr. Mnuchin to explain how he could fail to disclose million

House Democrats asking questions about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin© Evan Vucci Image: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin walks to talk with reporters at the White House on Dec. 3, 2018.

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has agreed to deliver a classified briefing to U.S. House lawmakers on Thursday on his recent decision to lift sanctions on companies linked to a Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally, marking the start of an aggressive new focus on Mnuchin by newly empowered House Democrats, according to two top Democratic aides.

Mnuchin, who served as the Trump campaign's national finance chairman in 2016 before being confirmed to President Donald Trump's cabinet, has largely escaped investigative scrutiny.

House committee chiefs press Mnuchin for answers on sanctions relief for Russian oligarch

House committee chiefs press Mnuchin for answers on sanctions relief for Russian oligarch A group of Democrats leading seven powerful House committees are calling on the Trump administration to delay its decision to ease sanctions on businesses linked to a prominent Russian oligarch, while demanding further information about the move. The seven chairmen requested on Tuesday that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brief lawmakers about the decision to terminate sanctions against three companies tied to Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire aluminum magnate with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Steven T. Mnuchin , with his fiancée, Louise Linton, and President Trump looking on, was sworn in as During a long debate over Mr. Mnuchin ’s credentials , Democrats argued that his experience on The new Treasury secretary will have little time to celebrate. He will be under pressure to help

Steven Mnuchin is expected to play a key role in Republican efforts to overhaul the nation’s tax The US Senate on Monday confirmed Steven Mnuchin as Donald Trump’s treasury secretary Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who sits on the banking, housing and urban affairs committee

But because of his role in the campaign — and, most recently, the Dec. 19 announcement easing sanctions on companies aligned with Oleg Deripaska, the Putin ally with ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — House Democrats believe Mnuchin should be a focus of and source of information for several planned investigations both related and unrelated to the Russia probe, according to the aides. These include examinations of Trump's finances and the business practices of the Trump Organization.

The Thursday briefing comes in response to a letter sent Tuesday to Mnuchin by the new chairpersons of the seven major House investigative committees, asking him to provide answers on the Treasury Department's decision to lift the sanctions, which was announced as lawmakers left town for the holidays.

Treasury's Mnuchin defends U.S. decision to lift sanctions on Russian firms

Treasury's Mnuchin defends U.S. decision to lift sanctions on Russian firms Treasury's Mnuchin defends U.S. decision to lift sanctions on Russian firms

The committee’s Democrats previously asked Mnuchin to turn over data from Treasury ’s Financial Additionally, Waters and her fellow committee Democrats are requesting that Mnuchin , who was the Trump campaign’s finance chairman, answer questions about any improper foreign influence on the

Steven Terner Mnuchin was sworn in as the 77th Secretary of the Treasury on February 13, 2017. As Secretary , Mr. Mnuchin is responsible for the U.S. Treasury , whose mission is to maintain a strong economy, foster economic growth, and create job opportunities by promoting the conditions that

The Treasury Department said it would lift sanctions on companies linked to Deripaska — triggering a statue that gives Congress just 30 days to try to reverse the decision by passing a joint resolution of disapproval. On Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., filed such a motion, but it's unlikely to succeed in the Republican-run Senate.

House Democrats asking questions about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin© Ilia Pitalev Image: -

In their letter, the investigative committee heads asked Mnuchin to meet with lawmakers "in an appropriate setting." It was one of the first coordinated requests from the committees since the Democrats took control of the House last week.

Among the questions Democrats are likely to ask Mnuchin at the briefing, according to aides: How much influence did the White House, and Trump personally, exert in Mnuchin's decision to lift sanctions?

Deripaska, one of Russia's wealthiest men, is a close ally of Russian President Putin and was a business associate of former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort. Manafort has been convicted of several felony charges related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and faces sentencing this spring. Deripaska is not implicated in any of those charges.

Mnuchin Defends Lifting Sanctions on Firms Tied to Putin Ally

Mnuchin Defends Lifting Sanctions on Firms Tied to Putin Ally Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin signaled he won’t back down from plans to lift U.S. sanctions on three companies tied to an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin even as he said the Trump administration would consider delaying the move to accommodate concerns raised by lawmakers. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Steven Mnuchin , President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury , discussed the Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, pointedly asked Mr. Mnuchin if he was using Cayman Things got heated on Thursday when Steven T. Mnuchin , the nominee for Treasury secretary , testified before

Steven Mnuchin 's family got to keep more than million in fake profits from the nation's largest The family of President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Treasury secretary scored more than Trump said Madoff once asked him to invest in the scam — but the real estate mogul claims he knew better.

Deripaska and his companies, including Rusal, the world's second-largest aluminum company, were among dozens of Russian entities hit with Treasury Department sanctions in April as punishment for Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The sanctions roiled global aluminum markets, and critics say companies in the U.S. and elsewhere were hurt.

The Treasury Department has said the decision to lift the sanctions on the companies is in exchange for Deripaska agreeing to significantly reduce his stake in them. While Deripaska will remain sanctioned, "these companies have committed to significantly diminish Deripaska's ownership and sever his control," Mnuchin said in a Dec. 19 statement. "The companies will be subject to ongoing compliance and will face severe consequences if they fail to comply," he said.

Signers of the letter, including House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., asked that the sanctions relief be postponed "until members' questions are resolved."

Mnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote

Mnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Senate Republicans on Tuesday ahead of a key vote on Russia sanctions to prevent GOP defections on a Democratic-sponsored resolution that could embarrass President Trump. Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) said ahead of Mnuchin's lunchtime briefing that it would factor heavily into GOP colleagues' votes on a resolution disapproving of the Treasury Department's proposals to relax sanctions on a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, connected to Russian intelligence and organized crime.

Steven Mnuchin , who took over a bank that failed because of bad home loans, argued before the Senate Finance Committee that his actions saved Steven Mnuchin testifies before Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday, for his nomination to be secretary of the Treasury in the

Steven Mnuchin , nominee for secretary of the Treasury , appears before the Senate Finance Committee for his confirmation hearing on Jan. Facing opposition from Democrats and consumer activists, Mnuchin was one of Trump’s most controversial cabinet picks as his résumé and

In fact, Democrats want answers from Mnuchin that go far beyond the sanctions decisions.

Since early 2017, when House Democrats were in the minority, Waters has asked Treasury to provide records detailing Trump's possible financial ties to Russia, as well as those of the president's family members and associates.

House Democrats asking questions about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin© Mandel Ngan Image: Donald Trump in Missouri

Later that year, Democrats on the committee wrote to Mnuchin requesting his help in determining "the extent of any undue influence on the president and his administration from Russian government officials, oligarchs and organized crime leaders."

Among other things, Mnuchin oversees the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit, which maintains a database for law enforcement officials to combat money laundering and financial crimes. Yet he hasn't responded to inquiries from Financial Services Committee Democrats over the past two years about what they say are potentially suspicious financial dealings of the president, his family and his campaign associates, Democratic aides said.

Waters has been active in scrutinizing Deutsche Bank, which has a history of violating anti-money laundering laws and has also lent hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump and his family members. Deutsche Bank is the subject of a Department of Justice investigation related to this "mirror trading" scandal, in which more than $10 billion was secretly transferred out of Russia by a group of corrupt traders.

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Steven Mnuchin is among Trump's "most troublesome" cabinet picks, according to democratic lawmakers. Here are five facts about the new Donald Trump chose Steven Mnuchin , a former Goldman Sachs banker, as his Treasury secretary , a role that oversees the country’s tax system

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified before the House Ways and Means Committee regarding Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with David Rubenstein about tax policy, the debt And if you have any questions about the fairness of IT, ask tim geithner

In a May 2017 letter to Mnuchin, Waters also raised questions about comments from Trump's son Eric, during a 2008 conference in New York, that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets." Democratic committee chairs say they haven't gotten answers from Mnuchin on their many inquiries.

Democrats have also expressed concern that Mnuchin faces a serious conflict in his current role, given his leadership of the Trump campaign's fundraising operation, and have called for his recusal from law enforcement and regulatory issues involving the president.

As the gatekeeper for information like the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Democrats told Mnuchin they believe his position is untenable.

"It appears that your own involvement with the Trump campaign has resulted in an unavoidable conflict of interest which you are also attempting to ignore," top committee Democrats including Waters wrote in January 2018.

While Thursday's meeting with Mnuchin is focused on Russian sanctions relief, some Democrats are expected to press for answers about his knowledge of any financial links Trump or his businesses may have to Russia, according to a Democratic aide close to the process who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Democratic committee chairs, as part of their overall investigative plan are expected to seek Trump's tax returns, in part to determine whether there were any financial ties or money laundering activities involving Trump and Russia during or prior to the campaign. Trump, breaking with tradition of recent past presidents, has refused to disclose his tax returns publicly.

While much of the House Democratic agenda to conduct broad oversight of the Trump administration is off to a slow start due to the government shutdown, House Democrats say they must address the lifting of sanctions on the Deripaska-linked companies now, given the 30-day deadline they face.

The Treasury Department, which would ordinarily be in a position to address NBC News' questions, is one of the agencies affected by the partial government shutdown. The department did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Mnuchin refuses to testify at hearing on shutdown impacts.
The Treasury Department is refusing to have department secretary Steven Mnuchin testify before the House Ways and Means Committee next week, after the Democratic chairman of the tax-writing panel requested that he speak at a hearing about the government shutdown's impact on the department. In a letter Thursday to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Treasury deputy assistant secretary Jennifer Bang said that instead of Mnuchin, the department is offering testimony from senior Treasury and IRS officials "who are most knowledgeable concerning the lapse plans now in place for the Department and its bureaus.

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