×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Senator Seeks FBI Information on Steven Mnuchin’s Ties to Relativity Media

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, is asking FBI director James Comey for information on Relativity Media and its ties to Steven Mnuchin, the movie financier and banking executive who is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of the treasury.

In a press release, Brown referred to an FBI investigation into Relativity, noting that when nonprofit watchdog group MuckRock first sought answers to questions about Mnuchin and the film company, the Freedom of Information Act request was denied. According to Brown, the FBI cited concerns that the disclosure of such information would “interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

Mnuchin was a member of Relativity’s board and once served as its co-chairman. He stayed in that post for seven months, departing two months before Relativity declared bankruptcy in July, 2015. Variety‘s James Rainey reported that just weeks before the bankruptcy filing, the bank that Mnuchin had headed, OneWest Bank of Pasadena, was allowed to take $50 million from the studio’s account. The funds were owed to OneWest for loans that the bank made to Relativity, but it left hard feelings among some creditors who did not get paid.

Brown also is a member of the Senate finance committee, which will hold a confirmation hearing on Mnuchin’s nomination on Thursday.

“If Mr. Mnuchin is to be confirmed for that position, we must ensure that his ability to do the job of overseeing American finance and trade in a manner befitting that office is in no way compromised,” Brown wrote. “I ask that you release all relevant information on Relativity Media and Mr. Mnuchin to MuckRock and the U.S. Senate as it considers Mr. Mnuchin’s nomination.”

Brown’s full letter is below:

The full text of the Senator’s letter follows:

Dear Director Comey:

Subject: FOIA Appeal

I am writing regarding a letter the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sent on December 7, 2016 related to a MuckRock request for information on several of President-elect Trump’s nominees (FOIPA Request No.: 1361974-000).  In this letter the FBI denied the request for information on Relativity Media, using exemption 7(A) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S. Code § 552(b)(7)(A), citing concerns that disclosure of the information could “interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

Considering U.S. Secretary of the Treasury-designee Steven Mnuchin’s ties to Relativity Media, including his large investment in the company, the financial relationship between OneWest Bank and Relativity Media, and Mr. Mnuchin’s time as co-Chairman of Relativity’s Board, I believe it is in the public’s interest for you to release this information.

The job of Secretary of the Treasury is among our nation’s most important. If Mr. Mnuchin is to be confirmed for that position, we must ensure that his ability to do the job of overseeing American finance and trade in a manner befitting that office is in no way compromised.  I ask that you release all relevant information on Relativity Media and Mr. Mnuchin to MuckRock and the U.S. Senate as it considers Mr. Mnuchin’s nomination.

More Film

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content