House Democrats on Friday officially launched a probe into Vice President Mike Pence's stay this week at President Donald Trump's Doonbeg resort in Ireland and the president's recent pitch to host next year's G7 summit at his Doral resort in Miami.
Democrats are requesting documents from the White House, Pence’s office, the U.S. Secret Service and the Trump Organization questioning the use of taxpayer dollars and what they contend are potential violations of the Constitution's Emoluments Clause.
"The White House has not made public how much the Vice President's trip cost the American taxpayer -- or benefited the Trump Organization -- but based on previous investigations by the Government Accountability Office, the bill could be significant," a letter to Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short reads. "President Trump stayed at his property in Doonbeg in June, which cost the American people an estimated $3.6 million."
ABC News reported Thursday that House Democrats planned to investigate the matter. The Emoluments Clause prohibits American office-holders, including the president, from personally profiting from foreign government and has been a topic of discussion sine Trump took office.
"In addition to investigating these potential conflicts of interest and waste of taxpayer funds, the Committee is seeking information on whether these expenses may have violated the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which provides that the President may receive a salary during his tenure in office, but that "he shall not received within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them," the letter reads.
Senate Democrats also have sent a letter to Pence questioning the use of taxpayer funds, calling stay at Doonbeg an "apparent conflict of interest."
The United States is slated to host the 2020 Group of Seven summit, and Trump said during last month’s G7 in France that the Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort would be the best place to host the summit.
In a letter to the White House counsel and the director of the Secret Service, Democrats said "the Doral situation reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to spend foreign government funds at President Trump's private businesses in order to engage in official diplomatic negotiations and meetings with the United States."