Trump Considers Disposing of D.C. Hotel to End Legal and Political Disputes

October 30, 2019 by Tom Ramstack
The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Trump organization is considering selling its lease on the downtown Washington Trump International Hotel to resolve legal and political disputes over its ownership and profits.

Controversy surrounding the hotel is part of an ongoing tide of criticism against the Donald Trump as he faces an impeachment investigation.

The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled a hearing for Dec. 12 on whether Trump is violating his Constitutional duties by profiting from the hotel while he serves as president. The complaint was filed by the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland.

The Trump Organization acknowledged it was exploring a sale one day after a congressional committee issued a subpoena to the General Services Administration seeking information about its lease of the Old Post Office Building that became Trump International Hotel.

The Trump Organization could gain $500 million from a sale of the lease, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The General Services Administration granted Trump a 60-year lease on the 121-year-old building, which lies a short walk from the White House. It opened shortly before he was elected as president in 2016 and has become a frequent destination for foreign diplomats and lobbyists doing business with the White House.

“Since we opened our doors, we have received tremendous interest in this hotel and as real-estate developers, we are always willing to explore our options,” Trump’s son Eric said in a statement.

Eric Trump addressed the conflict of interest complaints when he told the Wall Street Journal, “People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell.”

The Trump Organization hired the commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle to assist in a possible sale of the lease.

Other conflict of interest allegations arose Saturday when The Washington Post reported that a company linked to the president’s brother recently received a $33 million government contract.

Reston, Va.-based CertiPath provides security for federal courthouses and cell blocks. Robert S. Trump, the president’s younger brother, is an investor in CertiPath through an investment partnership, according to company officials.

On June 25, the U.S. Marshal’s Service announced it was giving CertiPath the $33 million contract to provide digital security and online identity verification.

The announcement drew a complaint to the Justice Department from a rival bidder. The complaint says, “The circumstances of this contract award, and what appear to be CertiPath’s efforts to obscure Mr. Robert Trump’s financial interest in the company even as it trades on the Trump name, present the appearance of preferential treatment for those who are close to the President.

The complaint was filed by the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Venable on behalf of an unnamed client.

Robert Trump continues to serve as president of Trump Management, a company listed on President Trump’s financial disclosure form.

In The News

She Was a Test Case for Resettling Detainees of Japanese Descent — and Unaware of the Risk In The News
She Was a Test Case for Resettling Detainees of Japanese Descent — and Unaware of the Risk

On the windswept plains of eastern Colorado, dust storms rattled the barracks of the Granada War Relocation Center, driving grit through the cracks, bending sapling trees, blotting out the sun. It was 1944, and Esther Takei didn’t understand why she had to be languishing there, alienated... Read More

More Kids on Medicaid to Get Health Care in School Medicaid
More Kids on Medicaid to Get Health Care in School

WASHINGTON — A mountain of evidence proves it: Good health translates to better student performance. Children who have high blood pressure or are obese perform worse academically than others. Children with asthma miss far more school. Students who have healthy diets, who are physically active, who... Read More

Why Do Iowa and New Hampshire, 2 of the Nation’s Least Diverse States, Get to Vote First? Voting
Why Do Iowa and New Hampshire, 2 of the Nation’s Least Diverse States, Get to Vote First?

WASHINGTON — Guess which Democrat leads the pack in Iowa and New Hampshire, and which one has launched a crusade challenging the tradition of holding the first presidential skirmishes in two of the nation’s least diverse and most rural states. “Iowa has had its caucus since... Read More

Dog-Friendly Event Calls Attention to Lab Animal Retirement Legislation Animal Rights
Dog-Friendly Event Calls Attention to Lab Animal Retirement Legislation
December 6, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON -Earlier this week members of Congress sought to draw attention to a bill that would allow for the retirement of dogs, cats and other animals used in federal lab experiments. The bill, called the Animal Freedom from Testing, Experimentation and Research (AFTER) Act, is sponsored... Read More

House Approves Restoration of Key Provisions of Voting Rights Act Congress
House Approves Restoration of Key Provisions of Voting Rights Act
December 6, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled House approved a bill Friday that would restore key sections of the Voting Rights Act requiring officials in 15 states to receive federal approval before making changes to the voting process. The bill, H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, would effectively... Read More

Warren Stand on Private Equity Under Scrutiny at House Hearing Finance
Warren Stand on Private Equity Under Scrutiny at House Hearing
December 6, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren may score political points with the far left-wing of her party by vowing to rein in the ills of the private equity industry, but her proposals came under fire at a recent House Financial Services Committee. Warren's Stop Wall Street... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top