Wednesday, March 22, 2023
HomeGSAGSA 'Washed its Hands' of Tracking Trump Organization's D.C. Hotel Profits, Panel...

GSA ‘Washed its Hands’ of Tracking Trump Organization’s D.C. Hotel Profits, Panel Finds

The General Services Administration “washed its hands of responsibility” in tracking The Trump Organization’s D.C. hotel profits, according to a congressional report released on Thursday.
The Democratic-led House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said the GSA “ignored critical ethical and constitutional issues involving then-President [Donald] Trump’s financial interest in the hotel.”
According to the report, the GSA failed in its basic responsibilities, as it did not track millions of dollars from foreign governments staying at Trump International Hotel, nor look into the origins of a $75 million loan that helped the hotel continue operations.
The report faulted the GSA for not investigating the hotel loan, which could be a potential source of conflict between Trump’s private financial interests and his role as president. The loan was received from the Trump family, according to the report.
The agency also did not review the amount of profit the hotel was generating from foreign government payment, in a potential violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause while Trump was in office. The clause prohibits presidents from getting gifts or payments from foreign governments.
The committee, led by Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon, said the GSA also did not track spending at the hotel from state and local public officials, which possibly violated a separate constitutional clause that prohibits government payments.
Additionally, the House Oversight and Reform Committee released a different report in October that said Trump misinformed the public regarding the hotel’s finances. The committee released financial statements showing the hotel had a loss of over $70 million while Trump was still in office.
Neither the agency nor The Trump Organization responded to requests for comment.
In 2019, the agency’s internal watchdog had criticized the GSA for failing in crucial oversight of the property.
Ethics lawyers who have criticized Trump’s decision to not divest himself of the Washington hotel and other financial interests before becoming president in January 2017, have repeatedly faulted the GSA for not canceling the family’s hotel lease despite language in the contract barring government officials from profiting from the property. The hotel occupies the government-owned Old Post Office building. A federal lease with the Trump family runs nearly 100 years, with extensions.
The GSA has said that its review showed Trump was in “full compliance” of the lease because profits from the hotel were not going directly to Trump while he was president. Trump put his assets in a trust controlled by his two adult sons and a longtime executive before his term began.
Separately, the GSA confirmed this week that The Trump Organization had given formal notice that it had reached an agreement to sell the hotel lease for $375 million to CGI Merchant Group, a Miami-based real estate investment firm. The GSA needs to sign off on any purchase.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Translate »