Federal agency says Trump must give up hotel before inauguration
The General Services Administration, which controls Trump’s lease, says he must give up his hotel.
Donald Trump will be in breach of a government contract unless he gives up his ownership stake in a luxury Washington, DC, hotel before his inauguration, Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday.
The new Trump International Hotel has been at the hub of conflict of interest charges directed at Trump because it is situated in a taxpayer-owned architectural gem, the Old Post Office, which Trump’s company leases from the federal government. But the agency that leased the property to Trump, the General Services Administration, told lawmakers that the lease forbids any elected official from holding the lease, the lawmakers said in a letter addressed to the agency’s administrator.
If Trump refused to give up the hotel after his inauguration next month, the GSA would typically drag him before an obscure, independent tribunal that oversees disputes involving federal agencies, the letter said. It said Trump’s team has not responded to the agency’s communications about the matter…
The lease between Trump and the GSA says that no “elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.” Lawmakers including Rep. Elijah Cummings, one of the signers of the letter and the senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, previously urged Trump to sell his stake in the hotel.
An official from the GSA agreed that Trump must give up both managing and owning the hotel, Cummings and his colleagues wrote in Tuesday’s letter. In a briefing last week, they said, the agency’s deputy commissioner for its Public Buildings Service told staff that Trump otherwise “will be in breach of the lease agreement the moment he takes office.”