Trump ally facing US House probe

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 18 Sep 2019

Democratic lawmakers announced that US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is under investigation, following allegations that she used her position in President Donald Trump's cabinet to benefit her family's shipping company.

The investigation has the potential to graze the upper echelons of Republican power in Washington as Chao, pictured, is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in Congress.

The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Elijah Cummings, wrote Chao requesting documents and citing "troubling questions" over whether she used her office for personal gain.

They will be looking into reports indicating that Chao, who was born in Taipei to Chinese parents, used her position to benefit Foremost Group, a shipping firm owned by her father and sisters, and to increase its influence with the Chinese government.

They said Beijing has extended hundreds of millions of dollars in low-interest loans to the company to buy ships.

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