The United States Senate is putting its foot down.
In a letter Wednesday morning, hours before a second hearing related to the PGA Tour’s deal with LIV Golf, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) issued a subpoena to Yasir al-Rumayyan, requesting that he testify before the Permanent Subcommittee of Investigations (PSI).
“The Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) 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 wrote. “That oversight includes this subcommittee’s inquiry.”
Al-Rumayyan, who chairs the PIF and oversees LIV Golf, has declined requests to testify, nor has he provided any information requested by the PSI.
He essentially told Congress to ‘kick rocks,’ claiming that American jurisdiction does not apply to Saudi laws despite the PIF’s overwhelming presence and investments in American companies, which now includes the PGA Tour.
“On Aug. 16, 2023, the Subcommittee reiterated the request that Governor al-Rumayyan either appear to testify at a hearing on Sept. 13, 2023, or propose alternative dates in September for his testimony, and the expectation that PIF would comply with the Subcommittee’s request and produce documents and information by Aug. 18, 2023,” Blumenthal wrote.
“PIF did not provide any documents by the Aug. 18, 2023 deadline, has not offered any dates for Governor al-Rumayyan’s testimony, and has refused to schedule the offered briefing with Subcommittee staff. Subcommittee staff has sent repeated emails and had phone calls with PIF’s counsel regarding dates, times, and parameters for the briefing but has received no firm commitment in response.”
Because al-Rumayyan has repeatedly declined requests, Blumenthal issued an official subpoena for his presence.
Thus, by Oct. 13, 2023, al-Rumayyan and the PIF must provide documents to the Senate related to their American investments. That includes all the records related to the PIF and all communications and documents that led to the Jun. 6 framework agreement between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.
Furthermore, the PIF will need to provide records pertaining to its ‘Vision 2030,’ which is Saudi Arabia’s plan to diversify its economy and invest in different industries, such as sports and tourism.
The Saudi Kingdom knows oil is a depreciating asset, hence its plan to shift gears economically.
Nevertheless, since the PIF has invested so much into American companies, such as Uber and Twitter, the Senate is cracking down, especially since al-Rumayyan has not cooperated.
But a date for when al-Rumayyan needs to appear before Congress is not yet known.