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Oversight Agency Announces Probe of Trump Transition Activities

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has agreed to a request from Democratic lawmakers to review President Trump’s transition for possible conflicts of interest and unusual foreign contacts.

The GAO’s fact-finding mission will focus on how public funds were managed during the period before the President took office, if the proper financial disclosures of transition officials were made, and whether national security protocols were followed with overseas communications.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) formally requested the GAO investigation last November.

“Mr. Trump’s apparent conflicts of interest—and his behavior during the campaign and after his election—raise questions about the use of taxpayer funds during the transition,” the lawmakers wrote.

More than $9 million was appropriated by Congress to finance transition activities.

Warren and Cummings also questioned if then President-Elect Trump’s early calls to world leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, were conducted on “secure phone lines.”

The GAO confirmed their investigation in a letter to lawmakers last week.

Most of the President’s transition activities were conducted out of Trump Towers in New York City. That location is also the target of a lawsuit brought against the US Secret Service on Monday.

A trio of government watchdog groups, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and Washington (CREW), filed suit against the agency under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking White House visitor logs.

The organizations are requesting not just the guest records at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but also those for Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago—the President’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

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Sam Sacks worked on the Hill as a Congressional staffer, and as a writer and reporter since 2008. He’s been published in Hustler Magazine, which you may have seen but don’t want to admit.

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