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House Dems Launch Probe Into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao For Possible Conflicts Of Interest

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

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Chris White Tech Reporter

The House Oversight and Reform Committee began an investigation Monday into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao over whether she is using her office to benefit her family.

The probe comes as reports allege Chao used her role in the Trump administration to promote Foremost Group, a shipping company founded by her father. The company has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in loan from a bank run by the Chinese government, The New York Times reported Monday.

“The Committee is examining your misstatements of fact, your actions that may have benefitted the company in which you continued to hold shares, and your compliance with ethics and financial disclosure requirements,” Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, wrote in a letter to Chao requesting documents.

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) addresses a National Press Club luncheon

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) addresses a National Press Club luncheon on his “committee’s investigations into President Donald Trump and his administration,” in Washington, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

DOT officials dismissed the reports. (RELATED: Transportation Sec Elaine Chao Under Fire For Reportedly Failing To Cut Ties With Construction Materials Company)

“The Department has received a letter seeking information on a variety of topics based on publicly available information and news coverage. We look forward to responding to the Committee’s request. Media attacks targeting the Secretary’s family are stale and only attempt to undermine her long career of public service,” a spokesman said in a statement.

The Oversight and Reform Committee wants the documents about Foremost Group and Vulcan Materials Company by Sept. The committee also wants memos related to her canceled October 2017 trip to China, her annual public financial disclosure reports, and whether Chao used a personal email address to communicate with her family or Foremost Group employees about official business.

Chao is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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