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Home News Citing New Evidence Chairman Takano Broadens Mar-a-Lago Investigation

Citing New Evidence Chairman Takano Broadens Mar-a-Lago Investigation

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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) sent the following letter notifying the Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs that the Committee is expanding the scope of its investigation into potential undue influence on VA beyond the Mar-a-Lago “three”: Citing a recent Pro Publica report Chairman Takano stated, “Until now, this investigation was limited in scope on the influence of Mr. Ike Perlmutter, Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, and Mr. Marc Sherman over the Department. However, this most recent letter containing President Trump’s handwritten note directing a former VA Secretary to consider a private individual’s request necessitates an investigation into the influence of other private individuals and entities that sought to influence VA through connections with the President’s Mar-a-Lago Club.” The letter continued, “Therefore, in addition to the items contained in the document request letter of February 8, 2019, I request any documents and communications in the possession, control, or custody of the Department of Veterans Affairs originating from President Trump’s National Golf Club Mar-a-Lago.” As of the writing of this letter, the Committee has not received all the documents requested by the extended March 8th deadline. Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.   March 14, 2019   The Honorable Robert Wilkie Secretary Department of Veterans Affairs 810 Vermont Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20420   Dear Mr. Secretary:   I am writing to request additional information about alleged improper influence of individuals associated with President Trump’s National Golf Club Mar-a-Lago over policy, personnel, and program decisions of the Department of Veterans Affairs. A recent report from ProPublica on influence of Mar-a-Lago Club associates included a letter from Dr. Albert Hazzouri addressed to President Trump on what appears to be Mar-a-Lago Club stationary. [1] Dr. Hazzouri is a cosmetic dentist with no known government experience or military service. In the letter, Dr. Hazzouri advocates for “creat[ing] an oversight committee” with the American Dental Association that would oversee the spending of federal dollars on dental care for “the vets, Native American Indians and underprivileged children." [2]  This letter bears the stamp: “the President has seen,” and in marker a handwritten note reads: “Send to David S at the V.A.” which contains what appears to be President Trump’s initial. [3] This letter provides evidence that additional private interests associated with Mar-a-Lago may have asserted influence, or attempted to assert influence over the Department. Until now, this investigation was limited in scope on the influence of Mr. Ike Perlmutter, Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, and Mr. Marc Sherman over the Department. However, this most recent letter containing President Trump’s handwritten note directing a former VA Secretary to consider a private individual’s request necessitates an investigation into the influence of other private individuals and entities that sought to influence VA through connections with the President’s Mar-a-Lago Club. Therefore, in addition to the items contained in the document request letter of February 8, 2019, I request any documents and communications in the possession, control, or custody of the Department of Veterans Affairs originating from President Trump’s National Golf Club Mar-a-Lago. This includes any documents or communications on stationary bearing the name, “The Mar-a-Lago Club.” This request also includes any documents or communications sent or received from members or associates of the Mar-a-Lago Club in the possession of the Department.  Please produce these documents by March 29, 2019. In the submission, provide the contact information for the individual(s) responsible for assembling the submission. This/These individual(s) shall certify and attest to the accuracy of the submission and whether the Department has complied with the request. Should you have any questions about this request, please contact Grace Rodden, Committee General Counsel, at (202) 225-9756 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.   Sincerely,       Mark Takano Chairman   ###  





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