Trump’s unconventional ask to have his signature on coronavirus checks could slow the Treasury Department’s process of sending out checks to those who need them most—and it could also be illegal. Under ordinary procedures, a Treasury official known as a disbursing officer signs the checks, and having the president sign checks will likely require legal opinions to determine whether the Treasury Department can legally delegate this authority to the president.
CREW has requested all Treasury records related to coronavirus stimulus checks being sent out with President Trump’s signature.
The requested records will shed light on the legality of Trump’s unusual request. Given the time-sensitive need the public has for these funds, it is important that the public know if Trump’s request is stalling the process of disbursing checks by manipulating the process for his own benefit. Additionally, if communications indicate that this is a campaign publicity stunt or an effort to undermine credit due to Treasury or Congress, then the public deserves to know just how nonsensical and potentially costly this procedural change is.