Politics

Trump nominee's nonprofit under investigation by DC attorney general

Key Points
  • A nonprofit run by President Donald Trump's nominee to lead a federal media agency is under investigation by the Washington, D.C., attorney general for potential self-dealing. 
  • Michael Pack, who was picked by Trump to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media, runs a nonprofit called Public Media Lab.
  • Bob Menendez, the Democratic ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is reviewing Pack's nomination, said in a statement that the organization is being investigated by D.C.'s attorney general.
Michael Pack
Source: US Senate

A nonprofit run by President Donald Trump's nominee to lead a federal media agency is under investigation by the Washington, D.C., attorney general for potential self-dealing.  

Michael Pack, who was picked by Trump to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media, heads a nonprofit called Public Media Lab.

Bob Menendez, the Democratic ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is reviewing Pack's nomination, said in a statement that the organization is being investigated by D.C.'s attorney general. The Senate committee is chaired by Republican Sen. James Risch.

"The OAG is investigating whether Mr. Pack's use of his nonprofit's funds was unlawful and whether he improperly used those funds to benefit himself," Menendez said in a statement. "The OAG is also requesting documents from the Committee in furtherance of its investigation." The D.C. office informed the committee on Thursday of an investigation into Public Media Lab, Menendez noted. 

The media organization Pack was picked to lead was once known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The group's board controls U.S. government-funded media companies such as the Voice of America and Radio Europe. 

A spokesman for the D.C. Attorney General's office confirmed that there is an investigation into Public Media Lab and declined to comment further. 

CNBC first reported on Public Media Lab's business dealings, which included over $1.6 million that has been funneled from the nonprofit into Pack's production company, Manifold Productions, records show. Pack is a conservative filmmaker with ties to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. 

Pack directed two documentaries that were executive produced by Bannon, including "Rickover: The Birth of Nuclear Power," which aired on PBS.

The development comes as Trump has been publicly pressuring the committee reviewing Pack to vote and pass his nomination. 

Risch was planning to hold a business meeting on Thursday that was going to include a vote on Pack but it was suddenly canceled. 

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