Keith Chu or Rachel McCleery (202) 224-4515
Wyden Vows to Block Treasury Department Nominees Until the Administration Provides Financial Documents Related to Russia
Wyden: “The administration needs to learn that cooperating with Congressional oversight isn’t optional - it’s a constitutional obligation”; Responding to Presidential Radio Address, Wyden Vows to Continue Hold on Treasury Nominee, and Block Additional Nominees Until the Stonewalling Ends
WASHINGTON—Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, today responded to Donald Trump’s false charge this weekend that Democrats were obstructing Assistant Treasury Secretary nominee Isabel Patelunas without cause. In fact, Sen. Wyden is holding the nomination to compel the release of financial documents relating to Russia, which the administration refuses to provide.
“Conducting oversight of the administration is every senator’s constitutional duty, not a resistance tactic. As the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, I requested Treasury Department documents related to follow-the-money issues and Russia. After the department stalled for months, I placed a hold on Isabel Patelunas to compel the release of these documents to our committee,” Wyden said.
“There’s no legitimate reason for this administration to go to such enormous lengths to conceal this information from the committee of jurisdiction. Secretary Mnuchin and Donald Trump must be awfully afraid of what’s in these documents.
“Given the Treasury Department’s continued refusal to respond to this request, as well as other letters requesting information related to suspicious transactions involving Michael Cohen and other matters within the Committee’s purview, I plan to maintain my hold on Ms. Patelunas, and to block other nominations until this stonewalling ends. The administration needs to learn that cooperating with Congressional oversight isn’t optional – it’s a constitutional obligation.”
Background: Wyden placed a hold on Isabel Patelunas’ nomination to serve as Assistant Secretary of Treasury on September 22, following the administration’s refusal to comply with his request for documents related to Russia.
To date, the Justice Department has indicted 14 individuals and secured 5 guilty pleas related to the Russia probe, including of high-ranking Trump campaign officials. Many of the charges involve financial crimes. The Justice Department has said Trump attorney Michael Cohen is also under criminal investigation.
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