The PGA Tour logo during the third round of the Travelers Championship on June 24, 2017, at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Farid Kfoury | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

A top Democratic lawmaker launched an investigation Monday into a planned merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked for details of the agreement between the two organizations, including how the new joint entity would operate in light of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, in letters to the PGA commissioner. Jay Monahan and CEO of LIV Golf Greg Norman.

Blumenthal’s letter comes as the PGA Tour-LIV deal faces intense scrutiny and skepticism about whether the merger can be completed, given the severity of past claims in the golf leagues’ past litigation against each other.

The Saudi government has been accused of widespread human rights abuses, including orchestrating the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

9/11 United Families Group, a group that also represents the families of the victims of the terrorist attack Swipe merge Because of the involvement of Saudi Arabia. Blumenthal previously stood by the families of the victims when another organization, the 9/11 Justice Group, protested a LIV event at a golf course owned by former President Donald Trump.

Blumenthal, who chairs the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, wrote that the merger announcement on June 6 was “an abrupt and drastic reversal of position regarding LIV Golf.” The tour and its commissioner had previously spoken out strongly against the LIV and its role in professional golf.

Meanwhile, the Saudi government’s private investment fund, which owns LIV, has made clear plans to use investments in sports to achieve the Saudi government’s goals, according to Blumenthal’s letter.

“The PGA Tour agreement with PIF regarding LIV Golf raises concerns about the role of the Saudi government in influencing this effort and the risks posed by a foreign government entity taking control of a cherished American institution,” Blumenthal wrote.

Before the merger was agreed upon, the rivalry between the PGA and the LIV involved legal action between the two. The entities have agreed to crush all pending lawsuits as part of their plan to combine the business and rights into a yet-to-be-named for-profit corporation.

Monahan told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Tuesday that the merger benefits golf despite past “tensions.”

The agreement will require approval by the PGA Tour Policy Board, according to a note to players from Monahan.

LIV Golf declined to comment on Blumenthal’s letters. The PGA Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Blumenthal requested answers to several inquiries, including a chart of the company’s structure and records of any disputes between corporate heads and any other stakeholders, by June 26.

CNBC channel Jessica Golden Contribute to this report.


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