January 19, 2017

Senators Cardin, Warren Raise Concerns about President-Elect Trump's White House Appointee's Meeting with CEO of Sanctioned Russian Entity

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary-Designate Steve Mnuchin raising concerns about reports that the recently appointed White House Director of Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Senior Advisor to the President under incoming President Trump, Anthony Scaramucci, engaged in direct talks with the head of a Russian entity subject to sanctions by the Treasury Department since 2015.

"Reports indicate that on January 16, 2017 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Mr. Scaramucci met in person with Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, to discuss future U.S.-Russian business dealings in the event that current U.S. sanctions on certain Russian entities are lifted in a Trump Administration," the senators wrote. "At the same time he was meeting with the RDIF, he was also acting as a ‘Trump translator' and informal member of his advisory team at the World Economic Forum meeting."

The letter continues, "This raises questions about whether Mr. Scaramucci engaged in discussions to facilitate prohibited transactions with the sanctioned entity in violation of federal law, and about whether other Trump Administration transition officials were aware of or approved his activities. If confirmed, you will lead the Treasury Department, which is responsible for enforcement of these sanctions."

The senators asked the Treasury Secretary-Designate to investigate Mr. Scaramucci's conduct, if confirmed. The letter also requests that Mr. Mnuchin provide answers to a series of questions prior to the Senate's vote on his confirmation.

Treasury-elect Designate Mnuchin was asked by Senator Cardin about this issue at today's nomination hearing, and informed Senator Cardin that he would "100%" investigate potential sanctions violations.

The full text of the letter is available is available here.

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