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2017-01-19 08:36:09
Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Nominee, Failed to Disclose $100 Million in Assets

WASHINGTON — Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick to be Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven.

The revelation came hours before Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, which has historically been bipartisan in its demands for transparency from nominees. Mr. Mnuchin was ready to outline his vision for the economy and defend himself against claims that he headed a bank that ran a “foreclosure machine” during the financial crisis.

“In his revised questionnaire, Mr. Mnuchin disclosed several additional financial assets, including $95 million worth of real estate – a co-op in New York City, a residence in Southampton, New York, a residence in Los Angeles, California, and $15 million in real estate holdings in Mexico,” Democratic staff members of the Senate Finance Committee wrote in a memo on Thursday. “Mr. Mnuchin has claimed these omissions were due to a misunderstanding of the questionnaire.”

According to the memo, Mr. Mnuchin also initially failed to disclose that he is the director of Dune Capital International, an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, which is a tax haven, along with management posts in seven other investment funds.

And he belatedly disclosed that his children own nearly $1 million in artwork.

Democrats pounced on the “inadvertent” omissions on Thursday morning, calling them more evidence that Mr. Mnuchin is not fit to steer the country’s economic agenda.

“Never before has the Senate considered such an ethically challenged slate of nominees for key cabinet positions,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said in a statement. “Mr. Mnuchin’s failure to disclose his Cayman Islands holdings just reeks of the swamp that the president-elect promised to drain on the campaign trail.”

And American Bridge, the so-called Democratic super PAC, said Mr. Mnuchin’s holdings were a sign that Mr. Trump’s government would not look out for working class Americans.

“By slamming through Mnuchin, Senate Republicans are becoming accessories to Trump’s future corruption, helping him stack his cabinet with shady billionaires who, like Trump, will rig the government to serve their own interests at the expense of the American people,” said Shripal Shah, vice president of American Bridge.