ICYMI: Watchdog Group Alleges Cummings' Wife, Chairman of Maryland Dem Party, Used His Committee Assignments For 'Illegal Private Benefit'

** FILE ** In this May 24, 2005, file photo, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., speaks during a news conference regarding steroids in sports on Capitol Hill, in Washington. The White House office responsible for fighting illegal drug use has focused for nearly a decade on youths smoking marijuana instead of a broader strategy that would sufficiently target adult drug users, according to a study commissioned by a Senate committee. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

2017 AFGE Legislative Conference – Sunday
AFGE activists travel to Washington, DC for the union’s annual Legislative Conference.
by AFGE Marques, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Following Sunday’s twitter “debate” — wherein Donald Trump was again deemed racist for criticizing conditions in Baltimore under the leadership of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings — Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway tweeted a months-old, under-the-radar Washington Examiner piece explaining just how deep the graft may go in Maryland.

And it involves Cummings, his wife Maya Rockeymoore, and how his congressional committee assignment business overlapped with donations to her charitable groups (we covered it here).

The piece begins by mentioning that Cummings and his wife married in 2008 while he was financially strapped thanks to several hefty child support payments he was ordered to pay. However, “his financial situation has improved considerably over the past decade,” the piece notes, before introducing Rockeymoore’s nonprofit, Center for Global Policy Solutions, and for-profit consulting firm, Global Policy Solutions, LLC.

According to an IRS complaint filed by watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center, several of Rockeymoore’s financial backers, which include Google, J.P Morgan, and Prudential, “have business interests before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cummings has served as Democratic chairman of the committee since January and previously served as ranking member.”

Under Cummings, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has wide authority to regulate business industries, including pharmaceuticals, banking, mortgage brokers, and technology. In recent years, Prudential, JP Morgan, and Johnson & Johnson have had business interests before the committee.

Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project, which has been investigating the nonprofit arrangement and provided research to the Washington Examiner, said the potential for corruption is “off the charts.” He said Rockeymoore declined to let his organization view her nonprofit organization’s most recent public financial records as required by the IRS.

“When a powerful chairman of a committee of the House of Representatives has a wife that is bringing in money from entities with interests before his Committee and she is not providing the transparency mandated by the IRS, there’s a serious problem,” said Anderson. “The potential for corruption in this situation is simply off the charts and can’t be understated. We hope Chairman Cummings works with his wife to end the stonewalling and provide the public with what’s legally mandated all charities provide.”

Both Cummings and Rockeymoore refused to discuss the allegations with the Washington Examiner. Cummings did not answer questions about the overlap between companies with interests before his committee and donors to his wife’s foundation. Rockeymoore did not respond to request for comment.

The IRS complaint also asked that Rockeymoore’s organizations be investigated for “shared leadership,” “integrated operations,” and “shared address and physical facilities.” The two entities, of which the for-profit received a $1 million federal grant for a childhood obesity project, cannot, under law, be managing that project together.

The couple also owns two rental properties in Baltimore worth between $250,000 and $500,000 each.

Neither Cummings nor his wife responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.