Trump's 'Mar-a-Lago Trio' Broke Law in Plan to Monetize Veterans' Medical Records: Report

Three executives used their personal ties to former President Donald Trump to allegedly break the law to shape veterans' policies for their own benefit, according to the findings of an investigation by House Democrats released Monday.

Known as the "Mar-a-Lago Trio," the group is comprised of Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, attorney Marc Sherman and doctor Bruce Moskowitz. A joint investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs found the three men allegedly used their connection to Mar-a-Lago, Trump's private golf club, to secretly influence the Department of Veterans Affairs during his presidential administration.

The men were also accused of refusing to comply with a law known as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, according to a statement from the chairs of the two committees.

Donald, Trump, Perlmutter, Veterans Affairs
Three men, including Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, are accused of using their personal ties to former President Donald Trump to violate the law in regards to veterans' policies. In this photo, then-President Trump shakes hands with Perlmutter before signing an executive order at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs April 27, 2017, in Washington, DC. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The "Trio" are accused of benefitting from their work in the development of programs at the VA, including a plan to monetize the medical records of veterans.

The committees' news release also claimed Ivanka Trump, daughter of the former president, and her husband/Trump adviser, Jared Kushner, were aware of the group's dealings. The report said investigators looked into newly released documents that included emails from Ivanka's personal email account.

The report said emails show senior VA officials were concerned that the group's work was in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which outlines procedures for the creation and operations of advisory boards to verify they are acting in the public's interest. The questions raised in the correspondences were dismissed and ignored, according to the investigation.

"Our joint investigation found that Ike Perlmutter, Marc Sherman, and Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, bolstered by their connection to President Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club, violated the law and sought to exert improper influence over government officials to further their own personal interests," said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Representative Mark Takano, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, in a joint statement.

"The documents we are releasing today shed light on the secret role the Trio played in developing VA initiatives and programs, including a 'hugely profitable' plan to monetize veterans' medical records," the chairs' statement continued. "The Committees' investigation demonstrates the need for Congress to pass the Federal Advisory Committee Transparency Act, which would ensure the American people know who is providing advice to federal policymakers and would require agencies to disclose whether individuals on advisory committees have conflicts of interest."

When contacted by Newsweek for comment, a representative for Perlmutter provided a statement from all three men named in the report. "The VA's struggles were no secret. From the well-chronicled wait time issues to quality of care concerns, there had been numerous setbacks in providing our veterans with the level of care they deserve," the statement said. "That is why, when the President and the senior leadership at the VA asked for our help, we gladly volunteered our time to do so. As the emails released show, we were asked repeatedly by former Secretary Shulkin and his senior staff, as well as by the President, to assist the VA and that is what we sought to do, period."

Newsweek contacted the Department of Justice to inquire if the agency would investigate the men over the report's findings but did not hear back in time for publication.

Update 09/27/21 3:20 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Perlmutter, Sherman and Moskowitz.