Democrats probe Trump’s request for campaign cash from Big Oil

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House Democrats are probing President Trump’s request for $1 billion in campaign cash from major oil companies.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) penned a letter to CEOs of eight energy companies and an oil  lobbying group that reportedly attended a dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort with the former president last month.

Outlets, including The Hill, reported that at the dinner, Trump asked the industry to raise $1 billion to support his presidential campaign. 

The Washington Post, which shared the story first, reported that getting him the funds would be a “deal,” because of all the money the industry would save in avoided taxes and regulations under his presidency

A source told The Hill that the discussion was not framed as any sort of tit-for-tat agreement.

But, in his letters to the energy executives, Raskin — the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee — described the incident as an “unvarnished quid pro quo offer.”

In light of a separate Politico report that said the oil industry was writing executive orders for the former president to sign, Raskin also wrote that companies “may have already accepted or facilitated Mr. Trump’s explicit corrupt bargain.”

As the minority party in the House, the Democrats’ investigative powers are limited. However, the Maryland lawmaker did request that the companies provide him with information including any discussions related to campaign contributions at the dinner and any policy paperwork the companies have prepared that is intended to be shared with Trump. 

A spokesperson for the American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas lobbying group, did not say whether it would provide information to the committee, but noted that the organization meets with candidates “from across the political spectrum on topics important to our industry.”

A Venture Global spokesperson similarly said the firm engages with bipartisan officials and would “welcome a similar conversation with President Biden at any time.”

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