[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), issued a subpoena to the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, USSA International LLC, for documents related to PIF’s takeover of American golf and other investments throughout the United States.
“The Saudi’s Public Investment Fund cannot have it both ways: if it wants to engage with the United States commercially, it must be subject to United States law and oversight,” Blumenthal said. “That oversight includes this Subcommittee’s inquiry.”
The subpoena and a memorandum from Blumenthal to members of the Subcommittee outlining the importance of this information and previous unsuccessful efforts to obtain it voluntarily are both available here.
Later today, Blumenthal will convene PSI’s second hearing on Saudi Arabia’s influence campaign. Today’s hearing will examine what is currently known about the PIF’s investments and influence efforts in the United States, how other countries may pursue similar strategies, and why further inquiry into PIF’s engagement with United States entities is necessary.
In the last several years, the Public Investment Fund – the Saudi Arabian government’s sovereign wealth fund – has dramatically increased its involvement in U.S. businesses and cultural institutions, including establishing the New York-based subsidiary subpoenaed today. A review of PIF’s public filings show that its public U.S. holdings have increased from approximately $2.5 billion in 2018 to over $35 billion today.
In July, Blumenthal chaired a hearing examining the planned agreement between the PGA Tour and PIF regarding the future of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf and professional golf in the United States. More information about that hearing is available here. Preliminary information obtained in PSI’s inquiry into the proposed PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger is available here.
Since then, Blumenthal has continued to seek information and documents regarding PIF’s growing investments in the United States. In July, Blumenthal wrote Yasir al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, renewing a June 21 invitation to testify before the Subcommittee in connection with an inquiry into the planned agreement between PIF and the PGA Tour, and requesting information and documents regarding PIF’s growing investments in the United States. A copy of this letter is available here.
In August, Blumenthal responded to claims by representatives of Governor al-Rumayyan wrongly asserting that Governor al-Rumayyan’s government position prevents him from testifying about his involvement in PIF’s extensive U.S. business investments. In a letter to Governor al-Rumayyann, Blumenthal again renewed his request for testimony and documents in connection with an inquiry into PIF’s growing financial interests in the United States.
Blumenthal also sent separate letters to McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Teneo, and M. Klein & Company. All four entities have reportedly advised Saudi Arabia on PIF’s targeted investments in sports and on the Saudi’s larger strategic vision for PIF’s engagement with the United States.
Copies of all five letters Blumenthal sent in August are available here.