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House Democrats want financial records tied to Russia probe

By Stephen Braun Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee pressed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday to turn over records detailing any financial ties between President Donald Trump, his family and associates and Russian interests.

The push for documents by ranking member Rep. Maxine Waters of California and other Democrats renews an earlier attempt from May that produced no records. Mnuchin told Waters during a July hearing that any records would have to be obtained from other congressional inquiries.

Among the records sought by the committee’s Democrats are materials from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which collects and analyzes banking and other financial documents in coordination with law enforcement.

Earlier this year, Waters and other Democrats also asked for financial records from Deutsche Bank, the German asset management firm that has loaned Trump’s real estate organization as much as $300 million in recent years. A lawyer for the bank replied in June that Deutsche Bank could not provide any materials due to concerns for Trump and other family and associates.

In a new letter sent Friday, the House Democrats cited a recent news report claiming that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross failed to disclose an investment in an offshore entity linked to Russian interests. Financial documents shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the New York Times showed Ross held an interest in a shipping firm that has transported gas for Sibur, a Russian energy firm.

Ross has said there was nothing improper in the relationship between Navigator Holdings, the shipping company, and Sibur, the energy firm, which is partially owned by a Russian oligarch under U.S. sanctions.

Waters told Mnuchin in a letter sent Friday that he is “in the unique position of being able to assist Congress in assessing the extent of the Administration’s financial entanglements with Russia.”

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