Senator demands information, testimony from LIV Golf’s Saudi manager

Yasir Al-Rumayyan at a LIV Golf event.  (Joe Giddens/PA Photos via Getty Images)

Yasir Al-Rumayyan at a LIV Golf event. (Joe Giddens/PA Photos via Getty Images)

A US senator demands that the governor for Saudi Arabia‘s Public Investment Fund, the financial fund for LIV Golf, is complying with a congressional request for testimony and information.

US Senator Richard Blumenthal, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, has released a letter to PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, in which he disputes the allegation that Al-Rumayyan is an “improper witness” in the Senate investigation into the ongoing PIF -PGA Tour agreement. The subcommittee, Blumenthal wrote, “seeks to understand the extent of PIF’s US-based investments and PIF’s plans for the PGA Tour and other US entities.”

Al-Rumayyan, a confidant of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, spearheaded both the development of LIV Golf and the deal with the PGA Tour. Al-Rumayyan and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan arrived along with a select few other people the stunning deal that shocked the golf world in June and ended, at least temporarily, hostilities between the two tours.

Significant questions remain about the degree of Al-Rumayyan’s involvement and authority in the proposed new venture. While PGA Tour officials have claimed they will control the direction of the new entity formed by combining the assets of the Tour and the PIF, Al-Rumayyan will presumably control the purse strings and, as chairman of the planned venture, will have a significant voice in direction of the company going forward.

Al-Rumayyan, according to Blumenthal, has claimed that he is “a minister bound by the Kingdom’s laws regarding the confidentiality of certain information,” and therefore cannot and will not comment on the details of the PIF-PGA Tour agreement. Blumenthal’s letter to Al-Rumayyan pushed back hard on that claim, both in terms of optics and legality.

“The suggestion that your role as Saudi foreign minister shields you from testifying about PIF’s commercial activities is both deeply troubling and unsupported as a legal matter,” Blumenthal wrote. He noted that the US District Court for the Northern District of California, which had overseen litigation between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour prior to the settlement, has already rejected Al-Rumayyan’s right to privacy claim due to his status in the Kingdom. of Saudi Arabia.

“In short,” Blumenthal wrote, “PIF can’t have it both ways: if it wants to engage with the United States commercially, it must be subject to American law and oversight. That oversight includes this subcommittee’s inquiry.”

Blumenthal has demanded that Al-Rumayyan produce, by August 18th, both “records relating to PIF’s current and planned commercial activity in the United States” and an agreement to appear before the subcommittee on September 13th. Al-Rumayyan had declined to appear at an earlier subcommittee hearing in July due to undisclosed “scheduling conflicts.” Blumenthal added in the letter that Al-Rumayyan’s “apparent reluctance to voluntarily appear raises questions about the veracity of your previously cited scheduling conflicts.”

Blumenthal further threatened to use more forceful means to compel Al-Rumayyan to appear and provide documentation to the subcommittee.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top