WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Home of Representatives panel on Monday demanded paperwork from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao as a part of a brand new investigation into whether or not she has used her workplace to profit a transport firm owned by her household.
FILE PHOTO: Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation speaks on the World Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 (GES 2019) in The Hague, Netherlands June four, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Picture
Leaders of the Democratic-controlled Home Oversight Committee stated in a letter to Chao they have been troubled by media stories she might have used her position within the Trump administration to spice up Foremost Group, a transport firm based by her father.
The committee requested copies of communications between Chao and her father, James Chao, and her sister Angela Chao, Foremost’s chief govt, amongst different paperwork.
Chao is the spouse of Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, a Republican ally of President Donald Trump.
A Transportation Division consultant stated in an announcement that the company regarded ahead to responding to the committee’s request.
“Media assaults concentrating on the secretary’s household are stale and solely try to undermine her lengthy profession of public service,” stated the consultant, who declined to be recognized.
New York-based Foremost does most of its enterprise in China and has acquired low-interest mortgage commitments from a financial institution run by the Chinese language authorities, in line with a New York Instances report.
The Instances reported in June that Chao had tried to incorporate relations in conferences with Chinese language officers that she was set to attend as transportation secretary.
Politico reported final yr that Chao appeared alongside her father in a minimum of a dozen interviews with Chinese language and Chinese language-American media shops since her nomination.
The Home Oversight Committee stated in Monday’s letter that it was additionally investigating Chao’s “failure to divest” from Vulcan Supplies Co, one of many largest U.S. development corporations, the place she served on the board of administrators earlier than turning into transportation secretary.
In early 2017, Chao pledged to money out her inventory holdings in Vulcan by April 2018. The Wall Avenue Journal reported in June that Chao had but to satisfy that pledge.
Chao offered her shares in Vulcan a number of days after the Wall Avenue Journal report, in line with paperwork submitted to the Workplace of Authorities Ethics.
Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Enhancing by Peter Cooney