Elijah Cummings’ wife faces mounting ethics questions over charity dealings
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings' wife reportedly paid her for-profit organization with money from her separate charity as part of a cost-sharing arrangement -- a revelation that is adding to mounting ethical questions surrounding her financial dealings.
The Daily Caller obtained documents showing that Maya Rockeymoore Cummings’ charity, the Center for Global Policy Solutions (CGPS), paid over $250,000 between 2013 and 2015 to her similarly named for-profit organization, Global Policy Solutions LLC (GPS).
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The documents outline a cost-sharing agreement by which the center shares "equipment, facilities, personnel costs and sundry other services.” But the center also pays GPS 5 percent of the center’s expenses for “managing its programs and operations.”
The Caller calculated those management fees to be over $250,000.
Rockeymoore Cummings also sits as chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, while Rep. Cummings, D-Md., is currently heading up a number of probes into President Trump’s conduct — including Trump’s tax returns. Cummings' office did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News.
The conservative watchdog National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) said that the latest report points to “self-dealing.”
“It’s taking the charity’s resources and turning them into personal profits,” NLPC investigator Tom Anderson told the Caller. “IRS law doesn’t allow a charity for this purpose. This isn’t for the public interest, this is for her personal interest. You can’t do that.”
Other nonprofit experts warned that the 5 percent fee was a red flag, particularly considering Rep. Cummings' regulatory authority over business interests that fund the CGPS.
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“That connection could be made,” Charity Watch President Daniel Borochoff told the Caller. “All the more reason to get rid of that 5 percent arrangement.”
This isn't the first set of questions to be raised about the relationship between Cummings' organizations. The NPLC alleged in a filing to the IRS last month that GPS and CGPS overlapped to derive “illegal private benefit.”
According to The Washington Examiner, which first reported on that complaint, the nonprofit CGPS received over $6.2 million in grants between 2013 and 2016. The report claims the nonprofit’s financial backers included Google, J.P. Morgan and Prudential – all of which had business interests before the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Cummings – and could pose a conflict of interest.
In a statement to Fox News in response to that complaint, Cummings’ blasted it as “baseless” and partisan.
“These baseless claims come from a group funded by right-wing mega-donors known for their political hit jobs,” Cummings said. “I am confident that they will be exposed for what they really are — a fabricated distraction from the important work being done on behalf of Americans, such as lowering the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs.”
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Rockeymoore Cummings, in a statement to The Washington Post last month, blasted both the Examiner report and the complaint as a “hit piece.”
“It appears a conservative front group and a news outlet . . . are pushing a hit piece filled with faulty research, lies and innuendo in an attempt to tarnish my personal reputation, professional work and public service as well as that of my spouse,” Rockeymoore Cummings said in a statement to the Post, calling the effort a “distasteful attempt to intimidate my family into silence at such a pivotal moment in our nation’s history.”
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.