Chaffetz: No Plans to Investigate Trump

Democrats want the House Oversight Committee to begin devoting as much time to investigating Donald Trump’s alleged improprieties as it has Hillary Clinton’s, but Oversight Chair Jason Chaffetz says that’s nonsense: because Trump has never held a government job or been elected to public office, his past conduct lies outside the purview of Congress.

Reports the Associated Press:

Donald Trump’s status as a Washington outsider fuels his fiery populism and also is helping to shield him from the scrutiny House Republicans are devoting to Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. senator and secretary of state.

The GOP-led, subpoena-wielding Oversight and Government Reform Committee isn’t investigating Trump’s business dealings, his charitable foundation or his campaign’s ties to pro-Kremlin elements in Russia and Ukraine — all areas ripe for examination, according to Democrats, who’ve accused Republicans of targeting Clinton in a partisan attempt to influence the outcome of the election.

“Where is our investigation of Donald Trump?” Rep. Elijah Cummings, the oversight committee’s top Democrat, asked at a hearing this past week. “The answer is obvious. The Republican frenzy is focused exclusively and obsessively on Secretary Clinton. And that is for political reasons.”

But senior Republicans on the panel said Trump has never held a government job or been elected to public office. Any alleged improprieties are the jurisdiction of state or federal agencies, not Congress.

The Oversight Committee operates in a “target-rich environment with lots of different investigative possibilities,” Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, acknowledged. Yet he said he’s unaware of anything Trump is alleged to have done that would trigger a probe by his panel.

“We’ll know it when we see it,” Chaffetz told The Associated Press. “Thus far, I don’t think there’s anything in that realm that has this clear federal nexus that would really compel us to pursue it.”